Oak Ridge Boys join Opry
Sunday, August 7, 2011
– The Oak Ridge Boys were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night.
The country music group made up of William Lee Golden, Joe Bonsall, Richard Sterban, and Duane Allen was invited to join the Opry last month by Little Jimmy Dickens, who surprised the group by walking on stage dressed as a 4'11" Golden, including long beard and sunglasses.
The group was surprised on stage by a video greeting from President George Bush. "I can not think of any group or any person who deserve this honor more," President Bush said, explaining that he'd been an Oak Ridge Boys fan since he first heard the group from inside the White House while they were singing Elvira on the White House lawn. "I ran outside like a little kid," he said, "and I've been blessed to call them friends ever since. I think of the Opry and the Oaks both as American icons, beloved from coast to coast and known around the world. I can't think of a better union. I love you boys, and my best to everyone at the Grand Ole Opry, one of my favorite places in America."
After Dickens presented the members of the group with their Opry member awards, Bonsall spoke first for the group, saying, "We've always been a friend of the Opry. We've always believed in the Opry and loved and respected every member of this brotherhood and sisterhood of country music. We've been nervous wrecks all day long because we knew how special this would be. This is a meaningful night, and is it different tonight than it ever has been when we've come down here to sing? You bet your life it is."
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