Entertainment

The Oak Ridge Boys are back in town with a Friday show at IP Casino Resort

The Oak Ridge Boys return to Biloxi on Friday for a show at the IP Casino Resort.
The Oak Ridge Boys return to Biloxi on Friday for a show at the IP Casino Resort. The Oak Ridge Boys

It’s been more than 35 years since the Oak Ridge Boys recorded that Dallas Frazier song — you know the one, it’s one of the most popular songs about a woman ever recorded, “Elvira.”

It was the song that propelled the Oaks to the top of both the country (No. 1) and pop (No. 5) charts. Recently the band re-recorded the song — “Elvira” — with country crooner Blake Shelton. “Elvira” is one of two songs Shelton cut with the Oaks at Sound Stage Nashville for the Spotify Singles series.

And while the band has embraced the song as one of its signature tunes, there’s more to the Oak Ridge Boys than just “Elvira.”

While many bands, such as Chicago, are celebrating 50th anniversaries and Kenny Rogers is hitting his 60th year as an entertainer, the Oaks, first known as the Oak Ridge Quartet, have a legacy that dates back 70-something years. But the most-popular lineup — Joe Bonsall, Richard Sterban, William Lee Golden and Duane Allen — has been performing and recording together since 1973, minus a few years when Steve Sanders replaced Golden.

This is the lineup that has given the world hit after hit including “Y’all Come Back Saloon,” “Come on In” and “Fancy Free.” They also went back to their gospel roots on their latest album, 2017’s “Country Gospel.” In 2015, the Oaks were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Oaks return to Biloxi on Friday for a show at the IP Casino Resort. Tickets start at $35 and are available at Tickemaster.com.

“We always look forward to coming to Biloxi, and I love that showroom at the IP,” Bonsall said in an interview with the Sun Herald. “It’s great family environment down there, and we love it and we’ll be doing a full Oak Ridge Boys show with lots of hits — we’ve been touring heavily the first six months of the year, we’re really on fire right now and Biloxi’s a part of that.”

Bonsall, who just turned 69, is the youngest member of the band. But he said age doesn’t stop the Oaks from working hard.

“God’s been good to us and everyone is feeling good and singing good, and we even did six shows in-a-row on this tour,” he said. “But hey man, look at our Christmas tour, which was the last time we were in Biloxi — we play 26 straight nights on our Christmas tour — our fall is usually busier than our summer, but hey man, we like to get out there and sing and that’s what we do and as long as God allows us to do it, we’re going to do it.”

When not touring, Bonsall is an avid sports fan, whose favorites include his hometown favorites — the Philadelphia Phillies and Tennessee Titans. He said he also pulls for the Nashville Predators, who made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs in June, where the Preds lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I didn’t get to go to any of the Preds playoff games, but I watched them all and boy was that exciting,” he said. “I was home during the last game — I was hoping we would get to do the national anthem but we’re not quite big enough today, they had the big stars of today singing the anthem, but man, what a phenomenal ride for the Predators.”

And Bonsall said fans of the band can expect some new music from them soon. He said they are once again working with producer Dave Cobb, who produced their critically acclaimed 2009 album “The Boys are Back.”

“It’s done — we went back in the studio with Dave Cobb for the month of June,” he said. “Dave had a vision of us doing a bunch of old time rock n roll gospel songs, like Jerry Lee Lewis. The whole album has this aura of 1955 — the sound, the instruments, all of it.”

If you go

Oak Ridge Boys Celebration Tour

IP Casino Resort at 850 Bayview Ave. in Biloxi

8 p.m. on Friday, July 21

Tickets start at $35 and are available at Tickemaster.com.

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