The legendary country music group will join the ranks of country’s greatest stars on August 6, 2011. William Lee Golden, Joe Bonsall, Richard Sterban, and Duane Allen will be formally inducted into the Opry family on Sat., Aug. 6.
The Oak Ridge Boys performed on the Opry stage July 8, 2011 and were surprised by 62-year Opry member “Little” Jimmy Dickens who walked on stage dressed as a tiny version of William Lee Golden (complete with the trademark beard and sunglasses). Jimmy announced, “All my life I’ve wanted to be a little bitty Oak Ridge Bo; on August 6th, I will become the newest member of the Oak Ridge Boys, and at that time, you will become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry!” Fans cheered and laughed uproariously!
Joe Bonsall spoke on behalf of the stunned group, saying, “Jimmy, that’s the funniest thing we’ve ever seen, first of all. This is a brotherhood and sisterhood unlike any other. We have been friends of the Opry for a long time. … We will get on our bus later and let this process, and I guess we have until August 6th to let it sink in.” The Oak Ridge Boys completed their set with their classic Elvira.
The Oak Ridge Boys’ invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry is certainly well deserved. The country and gospel group has garnered numerous Grammy, CMA, ACM, and Dove awards as well as 34 Top 10 singles between 1977 and 1991, including 17 No. 1 hits.