The Oak Ridge Boys bring early Christmas spirit to the VPAC

The Oak Ridge Boys bring early Christmas spirit to the VPAC

Celebrating their 40 year anniversary, the Oak Ridge Boys are bringing their four-part harmonies to the VPAC for two shows in one on Friday, Dec. 13 at 8:00 p.m.  The group will kick off the show by performing a medley of their hits and then following an intermission, the group will perform a complete Christmas show.  Each individual Oak Ridge Boy will talk about childhood memories and Santa Claus will intermingle with the audience and children. Oaks bassist and singer Richard Sterban updated the Daily Sundial on their upcoming VPAC performance, discussed performing on the front lawn of the White House and shared what it was like backing the late Elvis Presley.

Daily Sundial:  “There is often an incredible energy that takes place when artists record in a studio.  I’m curious as to how the group takes this energy and translates it out into live performances?”

Richard Sterban:  “It’s a pretty easy thing.  When you walk out on stage there’s a natural excitement.  We still love doing it.  We are still having fun doing it 40 years later.  We love the creative process of creating new music.  New music brings new life.”

DS:  “Out of all the venues you have played worldwide, which one stands out and why?”

RS:  “We’ve done a lot of special things as the Oak Ridge Boys.  The first time we performed on the front lawn of the White House stands out.  I remember being out on the beautiful green lawn.  I thought this is very special.  We were able to meet Ronald Reagan.  That afternoon we met George Bush who was the then VP.  We said Mr. VP what would you like to hear?  He began to name off obscure album cuts and it was then that I realized he was really a true fan.  We have developed a strong friendship with him and the Bush Family.  At the beginning of this year when he was in the hospital we sang “Elvira” and “Amazing Grace” to him over the speakerphone.  We have always felt that music is healing.  The very next day he was released from the intensive care.”

DS:  “I read in your bio that you backed Elvis Presley as a member of The Stamps Quartet.  Tell me about that.”

RS:  “I spent about a year and a half singing with Elvis.  It was a great experience.  He loved gospel music.  He loved black spirituals.  Many nights after his concerts we would find a piano at the hotel and sing.  One night he stood next to me and showed me he could sing bass.  It was an amazing experience.”

DS:  “How often do you change up your performance material?”

RS:  “Very rarely do we do the same show twice.  That helps keep us going.  We always add gospel music to our shows.  At most of our concerts we like to honor the troops.”

DS:  “What forms of technology do you use today while on the road and in the studio that weren’t available 20 years ago?  How have these contributed to your day to day?”

RS:  “I’m not a big social media guy.  Our keyboard player Ron has a studio.  We have recorded our vocals at his studio for our latest projects.  You don’t have to sing the lines over and over and wear your voice out.  You try to find a fine line where you have amazing sound but still make it sound live.  This coming January we are releasing our first live album, “The Boy’s Night Out.”

DS:  “What is one thing that you would still like to accomplish in your lifetime?”

RS:  “Being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Little Jimmie Dickens inducted us into the Grand Ole Opry.  It’s a tremendous experience.  When we perform there we really feel like we are part of family.  I hope in the next 4 years all of us are still alive and we get inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.”