Oak Ridge Boys – Faith, Family & Freedom
2013 marks four decades since Joe Bonsall first walked onto a stage with Richard Sterban, Duane Allen, and William Lee Golden as the Oak Ridge Boys. That seems like a pretty good reason to celebrate, and the Oaks do so by releasing a compilation CD that shines the spotlight on the music for which they are best known.
Of course, before their record-setting Country career, the Oaks were among the biggest stars in Gospel. What’s interesting to note is that the quartet never quite left that form of music – including such tracks on their albums over the years as “Dig A Little Deeper In The Well,” “Would They Love Him Down In Shreveport,” and “Don’t Give Up.” They tip their hat to that sound on a spellbinding version of “Amazing Grace,” as well as the classic “Jesus Is Coming Soon.”
Also, no musical acts stands for American values like the Oaks, and they include a few cuts that pay tribute to this influence – like “An American Family,” the touching “G.I. Joe & Lillie,” and a gorgeous version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which could (and should) be heard at many high school football games this fall. (I have a feeling if you go to any Commandos games in the Oaks’ home base of Hendersonville, TN, you just might hear it a few times!).
And then, there are the hits. Several of the group’s biggest hits are included on the album – ranging from Rodney Crowell’s “Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight,” Eddy Raven’s “Thank God For Kids,” and Bob DiPiero’s “American Made,” which all prove that if nothing else, the Oaks know a great song – and a great writer when they hear it! Of course, any Oaks compilation would not be complete without Dallas Frazier’s (speaking of great tunesmiths!) classic “Elvira.” When you hear the “Mighty Oaks” work their magic on this one, you forget the song had been around Nashville for over a decade when they recorded it. Three decades later, it’s still theirs!
The Oak Ridge Boys have written several chapters of music history over the past four decades together, and there seems to be no slowdown in sight. This CD serves as a celebration, but also a reminder that for the Oaks, the “Best Is Yet To Come”.