The Oak Ridge Boys first gained a following as a southern gospel group in the 1950s, after first forming under the name Georgia Clodhoppers and then changing its name to the Oak Ridge Quartet in the 1940s. By 1966, the group had permanently changed its name to The Oak Ridge Boys.
The group’s current lineup, including Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden (with the exception of an eight-year hiatus from 1987-1995) and Richard Sterban, has been together since 1973.
William Lee Golden would join the group in 1965, and Duane Allen would join the following year. Richard Sterban, who previously worked with Elvis Presley as a member of gospel group J.D. Sumner & The Stamps, joined The Oak Ridge Boys in 1972, with Joe Bonsall joining in 1973. By that time, the group had already garnered much acclaim in the southern gospel genre, earning Grammy Awards and many GMA Dove Awards.
By the mid-1970s, they began to focus their distinct harmonies on country music material, a strategic move which would usher in some of the group’s biggest hits, such as “Elvira,” “American Made” and “Bobbie Sue.” They have earned more than a dozen No. 1 country singles to date.
Along the way, the quartet has earned accolades including ACM Awards, CMA Awards, Grammys and Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association. Their hit “Elvira” was named Single of the Year at both the ACMs and CMAs in 1981, and earned a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group had previously earned four Grammy wins for their gospel music work. 1972 and 1973 brought Dove Awards Album of the Year honors for their projects Light and Street Gospel. Throughout their career, the group has remained dedicated to both gospel and country music. They were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000 and into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Now, the group’s Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban return again to their gospel roots, offering up a plea for peace and happiness in the video for their new track “Love, Light, and Healing,” led by the quartet’s signature smooth, burnished vocals and tightly-woven harmonies. The video concept is simple–capturing the group’s vocalists performing together, allowing the song’s uplifting message to take center stage.
Writers on the track include Aaron Raitiere and Sherry Faye Martin. The Oaks recently told CMT about the making of the video, which was directed by Brandon Wood.
What do you remember most about the day/night you shot this video?
It was a beautiful day on a beautiful property with a really cool barn, fields and a huge tree, lots of excitement from everyone.
How does the video bring your song to life?
The four of us believe in our hearts that “Love, Light & Healing” is the perfect song for our time. It represents hope and light as we emerge from very troubling times so our great director Brandon Wood with IndieBling wanted us close together in a bright and beautiful surrounding with the sun in our face, dressed brightly and surrounded by an aura of hope and peace, and it’s all there for certain.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
Well it sounds redundant, but in Nashville it’s true–it begins with a song and writers Aaron Raitiere and Sherry Martin wrote a great one for us. Seeing the video accentuate and magnify the lyrics was just magical. We all gave it our best effort and the final product is very rewarding to us. We hope that folks will be moved and even blessed by this one.