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Oak Ridge Boys to Accept Honorary Membership

Super Group Will Accept Honorary Membership During 70th Annual International Convention

Nashville, Tenn. (May 12, 2008) —The Oak Ridge Boys, who have one of the most recognizable four-part harmonies in country music history, will become honorary members of the Barbershop Harmony Society on Thursday, July 3 at the Sommet Center in Nashville. The superstar quartet will accept their honorary membership during the Society’s historic 70th Annual International Convention.

“To be recognized among the greatest harmony singers in the world is a huge honor,” said Duane Allen, lead singer of the Oak Ridge Boys. “After all, the Barbershop Harmony Society is all about harmonizing, and the Oak Ridge Boys have always said, ‘Singing in harmony is great, living in harmony is even better.’”

Ed Watson, Executive Director and CEO of the Barbershop Harmony Society, and Noah Funderburg, the Society’s president, will bestow the honor on the Oaks. “The Oak Ridge Boys exemplify the close, four-part harmony sound that the Society seeks to preserve for future generations to enjoy,” said Watson. “They have inspired countless singers to keep harmony close to their hearts, and we are privileged to welcome them as honorary members during our historic 70th anniversary year.”

The Oak Ridge Boys have a long, illustrious musical history that dates back to 1943, when they were known as the Oak Ridge Quartet. The Knoxville, Tennessee-based group performed country and gospel music in nearby Oak Ridge, where the atomic bomb was being developed. Time magazine featured the Quartet as one of the top-drawing gospel acts in the nation during the mid-‘50s. The group has had a continuously revolving lineup of innovative singers and a dynamic stage show.

The current lineup includes lead singer Allen, tenor Jon Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden and bass Richard Sterban. Their upbeat musical performances and infectious harmonies have made them a consistent favorite on the country charts and on tour, with a string of hits including the pop chart-topper “Elvira,” as well as “Bobbie Sue,” “Dream On,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” “I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes,” “Fancy Free,” and “Gonna Take a Lot of River.”

The Oaks have scored 10 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album; one double platinum single; and have had more than a dozen national No. 1 singles. They’ve received numerous accolades including Grammy Awards, Dove Awards, Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.
The Oak Ridge Boys join other legendary artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, the Osmond Brothers, Irving Berlin, Dick Van Dyke, Meredith Willson (author and composer of “The Music Man”), Mitch Miller and Bill Gaither who have also been extended honorary membership by the Barbershop Harmony Society.

“We join with the Barbershop Harmony Society in supporting music education in our schools and communities,” Allen said. “Music soothes the soul; music in harmony soothes several souls at once.”