The Oak Ridge Boys Celebrate 41st Anniversary With President George Bush
The Oak Ridge Boys are celebrating their 41st anniversary by crossing the country on their Boys Night Out Tour, in advance of their upcoming live album by the same name. But while the four-man band are used to playing for high-profile celebrities, they admit they were thrilled to have the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, and his wife, Barbara, in attendance at a recent show in Bush's home state of Texas.
The Opry members knew ahead of time the former president would be in attendance, so they all wore brightly-colored socks in his honor, which they proudly showed off when Bush visited with them backstage after the show. But while the award-winning group have played for Bush many times over the years, including when he was recovering from severe bronchitis in 2012, they say they will never forget the first time they performed for the 89-year-old.
“I remember he specifically asked for 'Freckles' off the 'Saloon' album, and that just blew us away," Joe Bonsall recalls of their 1983 concert, when they played on the lawn of the White House while Bush was serving as the vice president during the Ronald Reagan administration. "After he became president we sang for him many, many times, and we still sing for him today. In fact when he and Barbara came to see us just a few weeks ago in Galveston, Texas, we had 'An American Family' ready for him. That song has always been a favorite of his.”
The Oak Ridge Boys have released more than 60 records, but their latest one, 'Boys Night Out,' marks a career first for the band. The upcoming release will be their first-ever live album, which was accomplished thanks to some new recording equipment acquired by lead singer, Duane Allen.
'Boys Night Out' will be available in digital, vinyl and CD formats. Pre-order the record here.
Their tour continues this week with stops in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. See a list of all of their upcoming shows here.