For 29 years, the Oak Ridge Boys has been ringing in the holidays for their annual Christmas Tour. On Friday, November 23rd, they will be bringing their Shine the Light on Christmas Tour to The Arena in Corbin, Ky., along with a special guest to cheer in the Christmas season. Recently, I got to speak with Richard Sterban on the latest with the Oak Ridge Boys, as well as what to expect with this tour.
Earlier this year, the Oak Ridge Boys released “17th Street Revival” that was produced by Dave Cobb. The album showcases their vocal capabilities, as well as highlight the traditional sounds of gospel. Richard Sterban explains, “when we met with Dave Cobb and had lunch with him, he laid out a vision. He explained that he thought our vocals would be perfect for a sound that was blending Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles; basically, old time revival meeting. He envisioned all four guys around one microphone.”
The most interesting part is that Dave Cobb is pretty much a music historian and enjoys getting down to the history and lyric of a song. In fact, he went to the Smithsonian Institute to get the correct lyrics for an old black spiritual gospel song.
According to Richard, “Dave Cobb is a true preservationist of music. He helped saved the historic RCA Studio A on music history. He felt the history where Elvis, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and many others recorded. He moved into Chet Atkins office. We are making plans to make another album next year.”
One of the songs on the album, “Brand New Star,” has made an impact on so many. Just a few months ago, they invited Reed of Corbin to perform the song with them at Renfro Valley.
Each year, the Oak Ridge Boys perform around 150 show dates. They are already booked for 100 shows in 2019. As they grow older, Richard said they stay active because “we love what we do and don’t consider it work year round.”
When it comes to Christmas songs, Richard says that his favorite to perform are traditional songs like “O Holy Night.” For the Christmas show tour, they will be performing 34 shows in 32 towns through December. As far as what fans can expect, Richard said, “we will have 45 minutes of our hit songs with an intermission. Then we will perform Christmas songs that are romantic, fun, spiritual, and more. We also include a Rocking Chair segment where each Oak Ridge Boy will reflect on their favorite holiday memory. We end the show with a series of songs that show the true meaning of Christmas.”
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.