News createt: 10-02-2011
Richard Sterban interview
Richard Sterban has been with the legendary country-gospel group The Oakridge Boys for 40 years.
Their popular stage act includes songs like “American Made,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Y'all Come Back Saloon” and “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight.” But it was Sterban's down and dirty “oom pa pa maw maw” vocal on 1981's “Elvira” that made it the group's most recognizable hit.
“If someone had told me when I came on board, I'd still be with this group 40 years later, I wouldn't have believed you,” Sterban said.
The Oak Ridge Quartet was formed in 1945 as a gospel group, but it didn't taste real success until they began incorporating popular country into their act in the early '70s, which was around the time Sterban was recruited.
Sterban had been performing with J.D. Summer and the Stamps Quartet, who toured with Elvis Presley. The decision to join the Oak Ridge Boys was a tough one.
“We were just getting ready to go to Hawaii,” he recalled. “It was a choice between going to Hawaii as a back-up singer for Elvis, who I loved, or becoming part of a group I thought it had potential. The Oak Ridge Boys were at a point when they were expanding their horizons and I wanted to be a part of that.”
With Sterban as a member, the Oak Ridge Boys have released more than 30 albums, and they're not done yet — a new Christmas album is in the works. “It's some of the most popular music we do every year,” Sterban said.
On a more personal note, Sterban is preparing to write the story of his life. “I've been thinking about this a lot recently,” he said. “I've got so many stories to tell, I think it's time to write them all down.”
Source: Judith Salkin