Things started out as expected for The Oak Ridge Boys during their July 8, 2011 appearance at the Grand Ole Opry House. Longtime friend Larry Gatlin introduced the quartet before they launched into a crowd-pleaser from 1977, "Y'all Come Back Saloon."
A surprise stepping stone to Oak Ridge Boys members' Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, Richard Sterban and William Lee Golden's 2015 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame followed, and Nashville legend Little Jimmy Dickens dressed appropriately for the occasion.
Dickens replicated Golden's look by wearing sunglasses and a fake beard for his task to share huge news: the Oak Ridge Boys were invited to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Just as Trace Adkins would do when Dickens used a step ladder to invite the 6' 6" singer to join the Opry face-to-face, the Oaks laughed at their friend's stunt until they cried tears of joy.
"All my life I've wanted to be a little bitty Oak Ridge Boy," joked Dickens. "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 Oaks' July 8, 2011 set also included a song they're probably legally and morally obligated to perform at this point, "Elvira." The four-pice later joined Gatlin for "All the Gold in California."
Country singers and songwriters representing the Opry as members range from living legends (Bill Anderson, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson) to this century's top stars (Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood).
The Oak Ridge Boys entered the secular music world with the 1977 album Y'all Come Back Saloon. An ongoing run of country hits brought us "American Made," "Beautiful You" and "Bobbie Sue." Its blend of country and gospel music traditions has earned the group five Grammy Awards plus numerous ACM, CMA and Dove Awards honors.