The Oak Ridge Boys

The Oak Ridge Boys, like their contemporary Lee Greenwood, had become the epitome of wholesome country music when this show was recorded for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Show. When this band sings their hit, "American Made," they mean it. The play on patriotism that many country singers weighed in on after 911, this group never stopped singing about. As Midwestern icons and among the biggest country acts of the '70s and '80s, the Oaks have become the American musical equivalent of baseball and apple pie.

The Oak Ridge Boys actually date back to 1942 in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they began as a gospel group led by Wally Fowler called the Oak Ridge Quartet. Fowler kept the group going amid several personnel changes as one of the most popular country-gospel acts in the South through 1956, when he retired. In 1956, he sold the name to then-group member Smitty Gatlin, who changed the moniker to the Oak Ridge Boys in 1961. When Gatlin became a minister in 1964, he handed over the reigns to the other members, which at that point included William Lee Golden and Duane Allen. Golden and Allen gradually rebuilt the group into its current line up, which has been together since the early 1970s.

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