Spreading Christmas Cheer
For 27 Years...
When the calendar turns from August to September and on in to October and November, there is a man in a long white beard who converges with a few friends. They are preparing the sleigh by filling it with plenty of Holiday cheer as they are about to arrive in a city near you.
This isn't Santa Claus...no, no. This man's name is William Lee Golden and he travels with his friends named Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen and Richard Sterban otherwise known as the Oak Ridge Boys.
Like Santa, who delivers each Christmas Eve, for the past twenty-seven years, the Oak Ridge Boys deliver a message of hope, love and peace each Christmas season.
"This is our 27th annual Christmas tour...we have been doing this for twenty-seven years, which is hard to believe." shares Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys. "We got the idea from our good friend Kenny Rogers! He was doing a Christmas tour before us...he's out there doing it right now! He made us a part of his Christmas tour [mid 1980's] and so we studied him. We learned a lot from Kenny Rogers over the years. We watched how he was doing his Christmas tour and everything and we got talkin' amongst ourselves...you know we could do this... So really got the idea from Kenny Rogers, but then we incorporated our own way of doing things and like I say it's been twenty-seven years now."
The 2016 Christmas tour is sure to be a special one. On October 21st the Oaks released their seventh Christmas album entitled Celebrate Christmas. Released as part of the Gaither Gospel Series, this album features a beautiful blend of twelve classic Christmas carols mixed with several new contemporary holiday songs.
"This is our seventh Christmas CD, which is hard to believe...that we've recorded seven Christmas albums. Basically we try to do the same thing on every Christmas album...try to find a nice balance, a nice mixture of the traditional, familiar Christmas songs and then some new contemporary songs as well." tells Richard. "I think we have been able to accomplish just that. Then our Christmas show is the same way...there's a nice mixture in the show of traditional songs...you know like 'Jingle Bells' and 'White Christmas.' Then some contemporary songs as well. I think we've been able to find a nice mixture, a nice balance...I think over the course of the years we have kinda become known, to a certain point, for our Christmas music...and our Christmas tour's become the biggest part of our year!"
You can check out the complete Christmas tour below...
Christmas Celebration Tour 2016 Dates
Nov 15, 2016 Branson, MO The Mansion Theatre
Nov 16, 2016 Branson, MO The Mansion Theatre
Nov 17, 2016 Branson, MO The Mansion Theatre
Nov 18, 2016 Biloxi, LA Golden Nugget Biloxi
Nov 19, 2016 Lake Charles, LA Golden Nugget
Nov 20, 2016 Paris, TX Love Civic Center
Nov 25, 2016 Joplin, MO Joplin Memorial Hall
Nov 26, 2016 Sioux Falls, SD Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science
Nov 27, 2016 Grand Forks, ND Chester Fritz Auditorium
Nov 28, 2016 Minneapolis, MN State Theatre
Nov 30, 2016 Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Theatre
Dec 1, 2016 Portsmouth, OH Vern Riffe Center For the Arts
Dec 3, 2016 Wisconsin Dells, WI Crystal Grand Music Theatre
Dec 4, 2016 Mount Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Dec 6, 2016 Lima, OH Crouse Performance Hall
Dec 8, 2016 Meridian, MS Riley Center for the Performing Arts
Dec 9, 2016 The Villages, FL Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center
Dec 10, 2016 Sarasota, FL Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Dec 13, 2016 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theatre
Dec 14, 2016 Roanoke Rapids, NC The Roanoke Rapids Theater
Dec 15, 2016 Hagerstown, MD Maryland Theater
Dec 16, 2016 Wabash, IN Honeywell Center
Dec 17, 2016 Akron, OH Akron Civic Center
Dec 18, 2016 Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theatre
Dec 19, 2016 Green Bay, WI Weidner Center for the Performing Arts
Dec 20, 2016 Mason City, IA North Iowa Community Auditorium
Dec 21, 2016 Grand Island, NE Heartland Events Center
Dec 22, 2016 Burlington, IA PZAZZ! Convention and Event Center
As for their new album it opens with a classic in "Joy To The World," and also includes others like "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Away In A Manger," "Jingle Bells," and "I'll Be Home For Christmas." It also contains a beautiful rendition of "Blue Christmas" that is performed in a 1940's style mentality.
It's the non-traditional Christmas songs that stand out the most. The boys include a fun childlike song with "Santa Claus Is Real," as well as "There's Nothing Between Us (But Love Anymore)," and "Come To The Manger."
There are two beautiful songs that stand out enough for us to nominate them for the Spirit Award's Song of The Year and Spirit of Christmas Awards and hit our list of Top Songs of 2016. The first song is "Rest In You Tonight," as it reminds us the baby that was born in a manger so many years ago is the same man who can do miracles today, if we believe. The second song to hit our list and get nominated is "That's Christmas To Me." Although the hit group Pentatonix originally recorded this incredible song, it's the Oak Ridge Boys who breathe more life to this ballad that remind us of the events that make Christmas so special.
As for the Christmas tour show, attendees can expect to get their money's worth...
"The Christmas tour is really a special tour and a special show." shares Mr. Sterban. "Its really like two shows for the price of one. We come out in the very beginning and for about forty-five minutes we do our regular songs. We do our hits. We do 'Elvira'...for about forty-five minutes we do our regular music. We do 'Thank God For Kids,' 'Y'all Come Back Saloon,' our first hit ever... after forty-five minutes of our hits, we then take an intermission. After the intermission, we then do a complete Christmas show and we cover just about every aspect of Christmas, we really do! The romantic side of Christmas... the fun side of Christmas... we have a Santa Claus that comes out and we have a lot of fun with Santa...we sing some songs about Santa and with him. Then Santa actually goes out into the audience and interacts with the kids in the audience. Which is really a cool part of the show, it really is! After the Santa segment, then we do something that's very popular in our show...we have what we call the rockin' chair segment. The four Oak Ridge Boys sit in Cracker Barrel rockin' chairs in front of a fireplace and we talk about childhood Christmas memories and what Christmas means to us. It's a very popular part of our show and it's a way for the audience to kinda get to know each of the Oak Ridge Boys just a little bit better. Then after the rockin' chair segment, then we end the concert with the most important part...we do a series of songs that talk about the real true meaning of Christmas and of course that is the birth of Jesus Christ and that's how we end the show. So the whole thing is a total, total package of hits in the very beginning, an intermission, then just about every aspect of Christmas...it's a total family show."
The show is quite popular with families with children and adults of all ages. The Oaks promise that there is a little bit of a gift that they bring for everyone to enjoy.
"We want them to come and enjoy themselves first of all...enjoy the music... we want them to laugh... we want them to have a good time... but we want them to see something spiritual at the same time. We want people to realize why we have Christmas to start with and we end the show on a very sacred note and we hope that we leave that with the audience..." shares Richard Sterban.
Their sleigh just might not be a sleigh per say, but they do have a man with a white beard and they are willing to share with anyone who will listen... their message of love, hope and peace...
Come celebrate Christmas with The Oak Ridge boys as they perform live in concert...
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