The Oak Ridge Boys at Beacon Theatre, Hopewell, VA | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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The Oak Ridge Boys at Beacon Theatre, Hopewell, VA

Still from an Oak Ridge Boys Performance
(Courtesy:Rolling Stone)

The Oak Ridge Boys are coming to the town of Hopewell in a concert organized by the Barbican Centre.

The Oak Ridge Boys (earlier known as Oak Ridge Quartet) — an American country and gospel vocal quartet — was founded in the 1940’s. They remained a gospel group until the mid-1970s, until they decided to concentrate on country music and change their image.

The quartet which produced their most illustrious country and crossover hits like "Elvira", "Bobbie Sue", and "American Made" comprises of Duane Allen (lead), Joe Bonsall (tenor), William Lee Golden (baritone) and Richard Sterban (bass). Allen and Golden joined the group in the mid-1960s, while Sterban and Bonsall joined in the early 1970s. Golden left the group and was replaced.

The core group that eventually led to the formation of Oak Ridge Boys was a country group called Wally Fowler and the Georgia Clodhoppers that was formed in 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The group was requested to perform for staff members and their families who were restricted at the nuclear research plant in nearby Oak Ridge, Tennessee during World War II. The group was asked to sing there so often that with time they changed their name to the Oak Ridge Quartet. Since most of their popular songs were gospel, Fowler decided to focus only on southern gospel music. During this time, the quartet comprised of Wally Fowler, Lon "Deacon" Freeman, Curly Kinsey, and Johnny New. This group began recording their performances in 1947.

The group struggled with problems like labels having little or no interest in promoting The Oak Ridge Boys, studio breakdowns and sluggish sales for nearly a decade. However, a recording deal with Spring Hill Records in 2000 turned their fortune. In their first four years of teaming up with Michael Sykes, the Dove Award-winning producer, the quartet released a full-length gospel album “From The Heart;” their fourth Christmas album “Inconvenient Christmas;” a patriotic album “Colors;” a bluegrass album “The Journey;” and a quasi-compilation “Common Thread,” which contained newly recorded versions of the older gospel songs, as well as substantial material from 2004’s “The Journey.”

The concert is on August 12, 2018 at Beacon Theatre, 401 N Main St, Hopewell, VA 23860

For details, visit http://thebeacontheatreva.com/

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at an Oak Ridge Boys performance.

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