LIVE AT LAST: THE OAK RIDGE BOYS RELEASE THEIR FIRST CONCERT ALBUM, PART 2
Our conversation with The Oak Ridge Boys continues as they reflect further on their debut live album, Boys Night Out, scheduled to release April 15 on Cleopatra Records.
Do you have any favorites from among the 14 live performances you selected for the new album?
Golden: Well, I sang “Thank God for Kids” (written by Eddy Raven); that’s on the album. It’s a sentimental song for us, a favorite, but there are lots of exciting songs on there. “Y’all Come Back Saloon” (Sharon Vaughn) was our first hit. “Bobbie Sue” (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Wood Newton, Adele Tyler and Daniel Tyler) usually ends the show every night. That’s a really exciting song. It takes the show up to a peak of energy. It’s got that original rock ‘n’ roll feel to it – you know, the “Yakety Yak” feel where you just can’t sit still when it’s going on. A lot of young Country people love that song too. What’s that young group that’s singing “Bobbie Sue”?
Bonsall: LoCash Cowboys are singing “Bobbie Sue” now. And Little Big Town is doing an incredible bluesy rendition of “Elvira” in their live show. I mean, how cool is that? That’s very cool!
Allen: “Elvira” (Dallas Frazier) was the song that paid off all our house notes [laughter]. And I like to hear Richard sing “Dream On” (Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter) because I love to see the reaction of all the women in the audience. When he starts singing “Dream On” in that dreamy low bass voice of his, the women just go crazy!
Sterban: Sometimes it’s difficult to find a song that lends itself to a bass voice, but we were able to do that with “Dream On.” It’s an old Righteous Brothers song. Bill Medley sang the original lead.
Bonsall: I do not have an absolute favorite. All of our music is important to me. But just because it hasn’t been mentioned, I think it’s pretty cool that “Love Song” (Steven Runkle) is on there. It’s a rockin’ little song, man. The whole band gets involved and it’s just an exciting stage moment.
Sterban: We’ve got some deep vocal work in that song, too.
Bonsall: I remember when I first heard the demo. I said, “I don’t even know if we can do this. How do we even begin to do this song?” It’s kind of scattered. It doesn’t follow a specific formula – it does, but it doesn’t. There are little breakdowns and all kinds of activity going on.
Allen: Well, Steve (Runkle) was actually well known in the club circuit. Club acts will get a song going and keep it going for 15 minutes. What we got from the demo Steve sent to us was probably 12 or 15 minutes long. We had to pick out the parts that we felt made a good song for The Oak Ridge Boys and get it down to three or four minutes.
Bonsall: We shot a great video of it too, out in Death Valley, Calif., with a bunch of players and an old bus and Prince’s old girlfriend Apollonia was in the video. Of course, we didn’t know her as Apollonia then. Her name was probably Marge [laughter]. (Actually, she was born Patricia Kotero.) Man, that was a fun era.
Is there anything on the album that you wish you had done differently?
Bonsall: Oh, no! I’m absolutely happy with it. I like the fact that it’s The Oak Ridge Boys songs that people know, but it’s the way we’re doing them right now. It’s got today’s energy, today’s feel, today’s sound and our kickin’ band behind us. It’s not a studio version. It’s live and it feels like that. That was the goal and I think we accomplished it.
Watch The Oak Ridge Boys with Apollonia in the “Love Song” video from 1983: