Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Celebrating All Parts of the Season with; the Oak Ridge Boy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Celebrating All Parts of the Season with; the Oak Ridge Boy

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Szaroleta

For 27 years now, the Oak Ridge Boys have hit the road in December to do a Christmas tour. And for 27 years, they've had to answer the same question.

"The answer is yes, you are going to hear 'Elvira,'" singer Richard Sterban said in a phone interview this week.

Sterban (he's the deep-voiced "oom-boppa-oom-boppa-mow-mow" guy) said the annual Christmas tour is one of the highlights of the year for the Oak Ridge Boys, but they don't forget the hits that made them popular in the first place.

"Our Christmas tour is the biggest thing we do every year. It's really a bargain; it's almost two shows for the price of one. We come out in the beginning of the show and, for about 45 minutes, we do our hits."

After an intermission, the show is all about Christmas.

"We do a complete Christmas show where we cover just about every aspect of Christmas. We cover the romantic side of Christmas, we cover the fun side of Christmas, we have a Santa segment."

The Santa segment can be particularly fun, Sterban said, because it gives the band a chance to interact with kids in the audience. It also gives them a chance to poke a little fun at William Lee Golden, the Oak Ridge Boys singer who bears more than a passing resemblance to Santa.

The show's not all music, though. Sterban said he really looks forward to the "rocking chair" segment.

"The four Oak Ridge Boys sit on Cracker Barrel rocking chairs, in front of a fireplace, and we talk about childhood Christmas memories, about what Christmas means to us individually. It's become one of the most popular segments of the show because it gives the audience a chance to know the four Oak Ridge Boys just a little bit."

The evening wraps up with the band returning to its gospel roots. (The current lineup has been together, for the most part, since 1973, but the band can trace its roots back to the Oak Ridge Quartet, which formed in the '40s.)

"We close out the show with a series of songs - as far as we're concerned, this is the most important part of the show - a series of songs that talk about the real true meaning of Christmas, the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place, and that is the birth of Jesus. …

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