This weekend, The Oak Ridge Boys, became one of the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a star-studded emotional Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, October 25, 2015. Considered country music’s most prestigious event, the ceremony is the official induction of new Hall of Fame members.
Alongside fellow 2015 Inductees Jim Ed Brown and The Browns, and studio session great Grady Martin, The Oak Ridge Boys were honored with heartfelt testimonials and memorable performances of songs they made famous. The artists paying tribute varied in ages, backgrounds, and styles, which underscored the eclectic nature and crossover appeal of the musical contributions of the artists being honored.
These men and women distinguished themselves through virtuosity, harmony and heart,” said Jody Williams, BMI executive and trustee on the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Officers and Trustees. Williams filled in for the ceremony’s usual host, museum CEO Kyle Young, whose mother died on October 13th.
Several of country music’s biggest names performed tributes to the band. Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band performed “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” and Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood performed “I’ll Be True To You,” The Oak Ridge Boys’ first #1 hit, in 1978. With Brooks on acoustic guitar as the only musical accompaniment, Yearwood sang two verses, with her husband on harmony. Brooks took the last verse, and Yearwood joined in for the final chorus.The Martin Family Circus surprised the Oak Ridge Boys with a performance of “Elvira.”
Kenny Rogers inducted the band, saying, “There’s nowhere I’d rather be than right here tonight.” Rogers toured with the group often during the 1970s. Rogers and the vocal group often toured together in the 1970s. Each member of the band spoke about what the induction meant to him.
The evening ended with a group performance of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” as the attendees moved to the upstairs portion of the Hall for a VIP Reception. Many of its previous inductees were in attendance, including Bobby Bare, Harold Bradley, Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, Ralph Emery, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Ray Walker of The Jordanaires, Brenda Lee, Charlie McCoy, Randy Owen of Alabama, Kenny Rogers, Connie Smith, and E.W. “Bud” Wendell.
The Oak Ridge Boys took turns singing the verses, with all the Hall of Famers present—and the theater audience—joining in on the choruses.
For more information on The Oak Ridge Boys and their upcoming Christmas tour visit their website at www.oakridgeboys.com.