An ordinary weekend performance at the Grand Ole Opry became not-so-ordinary for the Oak Ridge Boys last Friday when they received an invite to become members of the Grand Ole Opry, one of country music’s highest honors. The band, comprised of William Lee Golden, Joe Bosnall, Richard Sterban, and Duane Allen, has won numerous awards over the years, including GRAMMYs, CMAs, and ACMs. Their official induction to the Opry will take place in just a few short weeks on August 6.
The Boys were in the middle of their set when they received the news. After finishing their song, “Y’all Come Back Saloon,” fellow Opry member Jimmy Dickens walked on stage to make the announcement. But he also had time to play a joke on the Boys, so the performer, who is just 4’11” dressed up as a miniature William Lee Golden and joined the band onstage. He announced, “All my life I’ve wanted to be a little bitty Oak Ridge Boy. On August 6th, I will become the newest member of the Oak Ridge Boys, and at that time, you will become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry!”
The group was delighted, and member Joe Bosnall spoke for all of them, saying, “Jimmy, that’s the funniest thing we’ve ever seen, first of all. This is a brotherhood and sisterhood unlike any other. We have been friends of the Opry for a long time. … We will get on our bus later and let this process, and I guess we have until August 6th to let it sink in.”
The band proceeded to finish out their set with “Elvira” and “All the Gold in California” with Larry Gatlin before leaving, knowing they would soon return to be honored as members of the Grand Ole Opry.