The Oak Ridge Boys’ Duane Allen on Country Music Hall of Fame Induction: ‘It’s the Highest Honor We Could Be Given’
The Oak Ridge Boys have received numerous awards and accolades in their 50-year career, but one of the country quartet's members, Duane Allen, says that their recent induction into the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame tops any of their previous achievements.
"I feel like I’ve got about two dozen marbles in my stomach," Allen admitted exclusively to The Boot prior to the Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "I haven’t slept in about three nights. It hit me pretty hard, because we’ve been building it in our shows. We just mention it, and the people jump out of their seats ...
"It’s been kind of overwhelming to me. In my old age, I’m kind of a crybaby sometimes, when it’s real special, and it’s been very special to me. I think I’m about to grasp how great it is," Allen continues. "My only hope is that we can embrace this with the class and dignity that the honor deserves, because I think it’s the highest honor we could be given, and I hope we show that. I want us to really present what this is, and I want us to be ambassadors for country music."
The legendary country quartet -- Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban -- still perform 150 dates a year, and Allen hints that they have something new to announce in 2016.
"I’ve always been a new music person, and we’ll announce that right after the first of the year," Allen says. "It's gonna be good. I’m working on it now, and it’s almost completed.
"The way I look at it, recording our hits, performing our hits, that’s our catalog. That’s like museum pieces, like Hall of Fame pieces, and that’s great," he adds. "But I always look at new music as the future, like going to Disney World. That’s your future. It’s exciting. I like to cut new music, because that’s our future.
"After the first of the year, we’ve got the future," Allen concludes. "Today we’re going to celebrate what has got us here, and starting Jan. 1, it’s the rest of what we’re going to do."
While the Oak Ridge Boys might have a lot planned for the next year, the one thing they're not planning to do is quit.
“I have thought about retiring,” Allen acknowledges. “I’m a methodical business man. I draw up plans for everything. Everything’s in writing with me. Everything’s off the computer. I draw up everything in a business model. I have all my career.
“I’ve tried to draw up a business model on how to retire, and I run up against a brick wall, and I finally just quit trying,” he adds. “I don’t know how to retire.”
The Oak Ridge Boys will spend much of the remainder of the year on the road. A list of all of their upcoming shows is available on their website. Their latest album, Rock of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites, is available on Amazon and iTunes.
See Photos From the 2015 Country Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony