Oak Ridge Boys provide the true American standard of music in concert

Oak Ridge Boys performed in front of a sold out crowd at Renfro Valley on June 24, 2017. Pictured are Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban. Photo by Jessica Blankenship.

Oak Ridge Boys performing at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center. Photo by Jessica Bray

When it comes to American Classics, you could line up the Oak Ridge Boys next to the Corvette, Levi jeans, and momma’s apple pie. The Oak Ridge Boys have stayed true to their musical roots over the years. Last night, they performed for an enthusiastic sold out crowd at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in Kentucky. It has become a tradition playing there, as well as the Kentucky State Fair in August. You could consider them a true American traditional standard when it comes to both country and gospel music.

At each and every show, the Oak Ridge Boys manager, Derrick, recognizes those in the audience that have served in the military, as well as those that are first responders. You don’t see many acts doing that, but the Oak Ridge Boys make sure to recognize those that help others in their line of duty.

Throughout the energetic show, each of the Oak Ridge Boys were given multiple chances to showcase their vocal talents. Highlights include “Beautiful Blue Bird” and “Thank God for Kids” with lead vocals by William Lee Golden. The big bass vocals of Richard Sterban reached down deep for “Dream On.” Duane Allen aced his way through hit songs “Mama’s Table” and “No Matter How High.” Joe Bonsall exercised his tenor vocal chords with “Little Things” and “Gonna Take a Lot of River”, as well as showed off his humorous side along with Rex Wiseman.

Backing up the Oak Ridge Boys include Rex Wiseman, Roger Eaton, Jeff Douglas, and Scotty Simpson. Photo by Jessica Bray.

Then the Oak Ridge Boys took the audience to church with several select gospel songs. They exceeded expectations with their harmonies. From “I Love to Tell the Story” to “Time Has Made a Change,” the crowd was moved with the spiritual hymnals that have stood in time to be standards.

Oak Ridge Boys performing at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center on June 24, 2017. Photo by Jessica Bray.

Just when you thought the party was getting started with the energy in the room, the Oak Ridge Boys concluded the show with “Elvira.” Folks jumped up out of their seats to sing along in unison, with many heading closer to the stage to join in the chorus. It would be followed up with “Bobby Sue,” complete with Joe Bonsall running around the stage and doing jumping jacks. We all wish we had an ounce of energy that Joe Bonsall had on display!

In the Country Music Hall of Fame, there stands a plaque where in bronze it includes the image and biography of the Oak Ridge Boys. Just as it is cast in bronze, the Oak Ridge Boys have cast their music in the hearts and soul of music fans. If you have never seen them perform, you are missing out a total experience of laughter, love, and the Lord.

Oak Ridge Boys Set List at Renfro Valley, KY on 6/24/2017
American Made
Come On In
Gonna Take a Lot of River
No Matter How High I Get
Beautiful Bluebird
I Guess It Never Hurts Sometime
Mama’s Table
Thank God For Kids
Y’all Come Back Saloon
Ozark Mountain Jubilee
Leaving Louisiana in Broad Daylight
Roll Tennessee River
Little Things
Dream On
Sail Away
There’s Nothing Between Us (But Love Anymore)
Come On In (You Did The Best You Could Do)
American Beauty
Time Has a Made a Change
I Love to Tell the Story
I Would Crawl All the Way to the River
Ramblin’ Man
Bobbie Sue

Jessica Blankenship

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, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more.  Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.

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12 Responses

  1. DUANE ALLEN says:


    • Duane – thank you so much for the kind words. I very much appreciate each and every one of you. It was good catching up and we are looking forward to the Christmas Show! God Bless, Jessica.

  2. Virginia A Teegarden says:

    It was a great show.

  3. Al Jessie says:

    I attended my first oaks show in 1969 when I was 12 years old since then I’ve attended over 200 shows in 7 different states,I’ve never been disappointed, and still get excited at the opportunity to see them perform every chance I can, to me they are great American heroes

  4. Gloria Johnson US Army Veteran (Retired ) says:

    I have been attending the Oak Ridge Boys Concert for several years. Each year they get better and better. Last night they put on another fantastic show !!!!! I love you guy’s. Keep up the awesome job that you all do !!!!!

  5. Judy caudill says:

    It was one of the longest shows that I’ve attended and it was great. Their energy was just as good from the beginning to the end.

  6. Marca Held says:

    I have always liked oak Ridge boys when are you coming to Michigan haven’t been to one of your concerts in years

  7. Great article on these great guys. Nashville is my home now but I was born and raised in Kentucky so I really enjoyed this.

  8. Darlene kohlsdorf says:

    It don’t get any better than the oaks Have been going to their concerts for 35 years and it never gets old. On our 4th generation of fans. Love them all. 4th generation of fans in our family now. What an awesome group of people. They will always be number one

  9. Nikki Byrd says:

    Great Show!!! William Lee gave me one of the set list ☺☺ , Can’t wait to come back next time

  10. Daniel Mattingly says:

    Me and my wife Paula was there and I’ve been last 6 years in a row and my wife has been following them for 40 years!!! They are the most humble and nicest stars that I have ever seen, when the restaurant was open across from the barn they use to come out and you could alk up to them and talk and they would sign stuff for you, They all signed my wifes jacket that is 36 years old and Richard took it up on stage two years ago and signed it on stage. God bless them they are sure true to their roots!! We will see you Dec 2nd at Christmas concert!! Love Paula and Daniel!!!

  11. Joyce says:

    Had a great time at this show, since the Oak Ridge Boys are so high energy and loaded with talent. The one down side was all the cell phones and tablets being lit up as people took multiple photos or recorded full songs. The woman in front of me was apparently not so interested in the show since she surfed the web for an hour with the light from her phone in my direct line of vision. When I finally asked her to turn it off she was very irate and nasty to me. I don’t know why you would come to such a great show and not ever look at the stage.

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