One of CMChatLive.com’s favorites, the legendary Oak Ridge Boys are having a 2015 to remember – a new album, a new book by Joe Bonsall, and of course, their upcoming October 25 official induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The group recently hosted a lunch for media at the Hall, and reminisced about some of the relationships they have had with those already represented in the Hall.
Joe Bonsall on Johnny Cash (inducted in 1980)
“John Carter Cash just released an album with about 40 songs on it called The Bootleg Tapes in the last couple of months. There’s about 10 songs on there that Duane Allen produced, and we’re singing on there. Back in those days, Johnny would call and say ‘Duane, do you all feel like singing a little bit?’ We’d go down to the House of Cash recording studio, and just sing Gospel Music with John. That’s just one of the many memories we have of Johnny Cash, and now, when I’m listening to iTunes, one of those songs will come on from back then, it’s definitely a moment you don’t get over. I can see us young guys back in the studio. They say we’re all equal inside of here. It’s hard for me to imagine that we’re equal to Johnny Cash, but we’ll take it!”
Duane Allen on Kenny Rogers (Inducted in 2013)
“Kenny Rogers taught us how to work the arenas. We went on the Full House tour with him in 1978. He taught us how to get out in the arenas and work in the round. Sitting backstage, he taught us the importance of the song – and how important it is to cut great songs. He taught us how to work with a record label, and the promotion people to get them to make you a priority. He taught us a lot of the inside ways to do business in the country music industry. I learned so many things from him in the business that go far beyond the three minutes of magic, but to never take away that importance of that.”
Richard Sterban on Elvis Presley (Inducted in 1998)
“Everyone that is in this rotunda is very special to us. But, there’s one special person that I had a chance to sing Gospel music with, and that’s Elvis. Even though he was the ‘King of Rock and Roll,’ I believe his favorite music was Gospel. Every chance he had, he wanted to get together and sing Gospel around the piano. It’s great to be in here with him.”
William Lee Golden on George Jones (inducted in 1992)
“We were so blessed to be able to record with George Jones, and also do a lot of concerts with. We have a lot of memories of cutting ‘Same Ole Me,’ and performing it with him. One of the last places we sang was at a show in North Dakota about a year or so before he passed away. We have so many memories of those people on the wall – going back to when we were little boys growing up. Sitting around backstage at awards shows and concerts. They’re all hanging on the wall, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”
The Oak Ridge Boys latest album is titled Rock of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites, which includes guest appearances from Merle Haggard and The Isaacs.