Hank Williams Fest opens

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 3, 2005

Musical weekend draws the crowds

By Jay Thomas

While many of today's top country stars were mere babies and children, the Oak Ridge Boys were topping the charts, and their legendary style of music is coming to Hank's place this weekend.

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Their sound is one of the most recognizable in the industry and is commonly called "four-part harmony."

The current four members of the group have now been together for just over 30 years, but the Oak Ridge Boys name dates back some 50 years.

Their hits include such songs as Elvira, Bobbie Sue, Dream On, Thank God for Kids, Fancy Free, American Made and many more.

According to Joe Bonsall, who spent some time talking with the Advocate via phone on Wednesday, the group remains successful because the four men share common

goals, but have different personalities.

"We respect the entity of the Oak

Ridge Boys," he said. "I feel very fortunate to be with these three other men because we all share a common love for music and for doing what's right."

He said they believe a lot of their success comes from their belief in working hard.

"There were no silver spoons on our tables growing up and we all had hard-working parents who raised us to believe that if you are willing to sacri fice and work hard, you can be a success at anything you do," he said.

Bonsall said another important aspect of the group is that they all want to be where they are.

"We all love this group," he said. "We love to sing and we all have our background in southern gospel.

Every guy that joined this group wanted to be an Oak Ridge Boy."

He said he believed you can always take four guys and put them behind microphones, but they'll never be the Oak Ridge Boys.

"I just have to believe this was meant to be like it is," he said.

As for the show they'll put on Saturday night, Bonsall said the group will have a lot of fun with the Georgiana crowd.

"We will sing for about 90 minutes and we're going to come out there and blast a lot of our hits and we'll do some of our newer stuff, we'll sing a little gospel, we'll wave the flag some and just have a fun time," he said. "Our fans will get a big full show without a lot of talking and hopefully they'll enjoy it."

Day passes are still available at the Hank Williams Festival at the gate.