The Oak Ridge Boys bring Christmas Cheer and their greatest hits to Opryland       

The Oak Ridge Boys bring Christmas Cheer and their greatest hits to Opryland       


‘Christmas in Tennessee’ Dinner Show runs through December 25          


By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International



Right now, The Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville is proudly hosting The Oak Ridge Boys, in residence through December 25. Boasting one of the longest backstories in the entertainment industry, the Oaks can trace their history back to the 1940s when they were known as the Oak Ridge Quartet. They became popular in Southern gospel genre, changing their name to The Oakridge Boys in the mid 1960s and more than twenty-five ‘Boys’ have been part of the group over the past seventy-five years. Enough of the backstory!


I attended the opening night of what will be a thirty-one-show residency, and, like all the other enthusiastic members of the capacity audience, I wish everyone could see the Oaks’ Christmas show, aptly titled ‘Christmas in Tennessee’ that marks the resort’s 38th annual ‘A Country Christmas’ event.


The ‘Christmas in Tennessee’ Dinner Show continues through Christmas Day and features a delicious holiday meal prepared by the resort’s culinary team followed by The Oak Ridge Boys and their band performing Christmas classics, new favorites, and a few of the timeless hits that have shaped their legendary career.


After kicking off the show with “All I Want For Christmas,” Joe Bonsall remarked that they have performed an annual Christmas show for thirty years, saying, “We are going to play some of our greatest hits first.” With a laugh, he added that this was so no one would be shouting “Play ‘Elvira’” in the middle of “Silent Night.”


Sure enough, the set began with one of my favorites, “American Made,” then along came the others including “Y’all Come Back Saloon” and the Eddy Raven-written smash, “Thank God For Kids” … and of course “Elvira.” If I am not mistaken, everybody in the room was singing every word.


Of course, the show included many of the Oaks’ Christmas songs from their albums over the years that have become fan favorites.  A highlight of the show saw the Oaks move across to what they called the ‘rocking chair set’ (thank you Cracker Barrel!), an intimate setting where each of them shared the special times with their families when they were growing up.


Duane Allen told the story of his spiritual family time, gathering around the piano when his siblings come home. The Oaks sang a verse of “Silent Night” with the audience joining in to finish the final verse. So beautiful!


William Golden told us of coming home to south Alabama after he had moved to Nashville and shared the story of “Thank God for Kids.” He also told us of the time he was in a cotton field and decided he didn’t want to pick cotton for a living. Because his family was known locally for their musical talents, he believed the road was open so he headed to Nashville.

Richard Sterban took his turn and told about the inspiration for recording their new album and what they wanted it to represent. He said that producer Dave Cobb came to see their show a couple of years ago and wanted to capture the feel of singing on the front porch. The result: The Oaks’ 2021 album Front Porch Singin’ (Lightning Rod/Thirty Tigers), their fourth collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Cobb.  His vision perfectly captures the essence of The Oak Ridge Boys.


After a short visit from Santa Claus and the kids getting hugs, the Oaks rolled into their distinctive perfect harmonies as they performed “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”


Joe Bonsall told us what they always keep at the forefront of their Christmas show music: the baby Jesus lying in a manger. The reason for the season is Christ’s birthday.


Tickets for The Oak Ridge Boys ‘Christmas in Tennessee’ Dinner Show are now available at


The Oak Ridge Boys have sold over 41 million units worldwide and are synonymous with “America, apple pie, baseball, and country music.” In addition to their awards and accolades in the country music field, the Oaks have garnered five GRAMMY® Awards, nine GMA DOVE Awards, and two American Music Awards. The group—Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban, members of the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame (2015 Inductees) and the Grand Ole Opry (since 2011)—is known worldwide as one of recording history’s most extraordinary musical successes. They have charted single after single and album after album, celebrating two double-platinum albums and more than 30 Top 10 hits, including No. 1 chart-toppers “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” and “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” among dozens more. For more information and to view upcoming tour dates for The Oak Ridge Boys, please visit


Here at Country Music News International we believe in Bluegrass and Country Music. During this difficult time we have to stand together. Almost everyone in the business is being impacted financially. In order to help artists, songwriters, musicians and any related music business like music stores, publicists, record labels, music bars, instrument companies, record studios … keep business moving forward, we are making an unprecedented offer. For more details:


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Photo credit: John Mir






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