Los Angeles, CA – GRAMMY® winning, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry members The Oak Ridge Boys join Dan Rather for a lively evening, opening up about their controversial crossover from Gospel to Country and the incredible impact fellow icon Johnny Cash had on their career in this exclusive look at an all-new episode of The Big Interview—airing Tuesday, May 1 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
During the conversation, the band discusses their early days as an up-and-coming act living in close proximity to genre power couple June and Johnny Cash, with whom they struck up a long-lasting friendship—one that would change the trajectory of their path to super-stardom. As tenor Joseph Bonsall recalls, “Johnny took us out with him, paid us more than we were worth, even gave us bonuses. I mean, they knew we were hurtin’… we didn’t go to bed as a Gospel quartet and wake up as a bunch of Country music hit makers here. There were these gray years in here where it was really hard for us.”
With the band struggling to break through in the competitive scene, Cash gathered the boys together to impart some invaluable wisdom that would stick with them forever. Bonsall continues, “He gathered us up in a circle and he gave us a pep talk. He said, ‘Boys, there’s magic here. I feel it, being here and among you and listening to you sing. It’s magical. People don’t really know it yet. But I’m just sayin’ don’t give up.’ Don’t give up, in that big voice of his. I mean it was like God talkin’ to us. It’s the kind of stuff you can’t even make up.”
Though the group was a titan of the Gospel genre, collecting a plethora of honors and routinely ranking at the top of the charts, they were hungry to bring their soulful songs to an even wider audience. This decision was met with some resistance from the industry, but it played a massive role in setting the stage for the band to become the influential powerhouse that they are today. Bass crooner Richard Sterban explains, “We felt as though we had to branch out and do some other things. In 1977, we had our first hit song, ‘Y’all Come Back Saloon’, and from that point on for the next 15 years, just about everything we released went to the top of the Country music charts and we became a major act in Country music… it was a very exciting period in our time and it was a great thing to be a part of. There’s no question about that.”
Check it out here: bcove.video/2Jm9Nvm
To see more of this insightful episode, tune in to The Big Interview on Tuesday, May 1 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, on AXS TV.
Oak Ridge Boys on Tour:
APR 27 Medina Entertainment Center / Medina, Minn.
APR 28 Arcada Theatre / Saint Charles, Ill.
APR 29 Peoples Bank Theatre / Marietta, Ohio
APR 30 Packard Music Hall / Warren, Ohio
MAY 04 Peoples Bank Theatre / Marietta, Ohio
MAY 05 BMI Speedway / Versailles, Ohio
MAY 06 Civic Center / Des Moines, Iowa
MAY 11 Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences / Charleston, W.V.
MAY 12 Little River Casino Resort / Manistee, Mich.
MAY 17 NYCB Theatre at Westbury / Westbury, N.Y.
MAY 18 del Lago Resort & Casino / Waterloo, N.Y.
MAY 19 Paramount Theatre / Rutland, VT
MAY 20 The Cabot / Beverly, Mass.
MAY 25 Dothan Civic Center / Dothan, Ala.
MAY 26 Atwood Music Festival / Monticello, Miss.
JUN 01 Beaver Dam Amphitheater / Beaver Dam, Ky.
JUN 02 Renfro Valley / Mt Vernon, Ky.
JUN 08 Hartville Kitchen / Hartville, Ohio
JUN 09 Hartville Kitchen / Hartville, Ohio
JUN 16 Porterfield Country Fest / Marinette, Wisc.
JUN 21 Pinewood Bowl Theater / Lincoln, Neb.
JUN 23 The Mighty Howard County Fair / Cresco, Iowa
JUN 30 Riverdome at Horseshoe Casino & Hotel / Bossier City, La.
JUL 14 Island View Casino Resort / Gulfport, Miss.
JUL 20 Thrasher-Horne Center / Orange Park, Fla.
JUL 26 Paradise Cove Margaritaville / Tulsa, Okla.
JUL 27 Gasconade County Fair / Owensville, Mo.
JUL 28 Adams County Fair / Mendon, Ill.
JUL 29 Ohiya Casino & Resort / Niobrara, Neb.
For entire tour schedule, please click here.
About The Oak Ridge Boys:
The Oak Ridge Boys, who have sold over 41 million units worldwide, are synonymous with “America, apple pie, baseball, pop, rock, gospel and country music.” In addition to their awards and accolades in the country and pop music fields, they have garnered five GRAMMY® Awards and nine GMA DOVE Awards as well as the Mainstream Artist of the Year Award at the ICM Awards. The group—Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban—have earned prestigious membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame (2015 Inductees) and Grand Ole Opry, and are known worldwide as one of recording history’s most extraordinary musical successes. They have charted single after single and album after album, celebrating one double-platinum album and one double-platinum single and more than 30 Top 10 hits, including No. 1 chart-toppers “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” among dozens more. For more information and to view upcoming tour dates for The Oak Ridge Boys, please visit oakridgeboys.com.
About AXS TV:
Launched in July 2012 by visionary entrepreneur CEO Mark Cuban, AXS TV delivers the ultimate in music entertainment programming with an eclectic lineup that includes classic concerts from music’s most iconic bands, as well as exclusive music festival coverage, original hit series, docs that rock, insightful specials, and knock-out live mixed martial arts action. AXS TV is a partnership between Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and CBS. The network is available nationally in the United States and can be seen in parts of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For a list of providers, visit axs.tv/subscribe. For more information, see www.axs.tv and www.axs.tv/press. Follow AXS TV on Facebook,Twitter @axstv; Instagram; and YouTube. Press information is available at axstvmediacenter.com.
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Country Music Hall of Fame member and Recording Academy “Lifetime Achievement Award” recipient, Charley Pride, will celebrate his 25th Anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member with appearances on the Opry Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5. Pride, who made his Opry debut in 1967, is scheduled to perform extended Opry sets in celebration of his milestone anniversary on both nights.
As part of the celebration, Opry flagship station 650 AM WSM (wsmonline.com) plans to salute the award-winning artist with a “Country Pride Weekend”, spinning Pride’s 50-plus Top 10 singles, playing signature Pride archived programs, and taking listener requests for the Country Music Hall of Famer’s all-time favorites.
Upon his Opry induction 25 years ago, Pride recalled his initial dream of baseball stardom. “It’s as if I had made it in baseball and they came up to me and took me to Cooperstown and said, ‘This is where your plaque is going to be – beside Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron.”
Tickets for “Country Pride Weekend” are available at (615) 871-OPRY and at Opry.com.
Charley Pride also recently announced he’ll be performing at the 2018 CMA Fest, on Friday, June 8 at 8:00 pm at Nissan Stadium. Pride will be sharing the stage that evening with a host of other modern country staples like Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Old Dominion.
Tickets can be purchased on the CMA Fest website, by clicking here.
Charley Pride Tour Dates:
Apr 28 – Treasure Island Resort & Casino / Welch, Minn.
May 04 – Grand Ole Opry / Nashville, Tenn.
May 05 – Grand Ole Opry / Nashville, Tenn.
May 13 – Opry le Daniel @ Millennium/ Derry, Northern Ireland
Jun 07 – Charley Pride Fan Club Breakfast / Nashville, Tenn.
Jun 08 – CMA Music Festival @ Nissan Stadium / Nashville, Tenn.
Jun 09 – Ryman Auditorium / Nashville, Tenn.
Jun 16 – Horseshoe Casino / Bossier City, La.
Jun 30 – Cypress Bayou Casino / Charenton, La.
Jul 14 – Renfro Valley Entertainment Center / Mt. Vernon, Ky.
Sep 15 – Crystal Grand Music Theater / Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
Sep 28 – Dosey Doe (The Big Barn) / The Woodlands, Texas
Oct 05 – The Welk Resort Theatre / Branson, Mo.
Oct 26 – The Welk Resort Theatre / Branson, Mo.
Nov 07 – TCU Place / Saskatoon, SK
Nov 09 – Conexus Arts Centre / Regina, SK
Nov 10 – Club Regent Event Center / Winnipeg, MB
Be sure to follow Pride on Facebook and charleypride.com.
About Charley Pride:
Charley Pride is celebrating more than 50 years as a recording artist. He has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in the history of country music and is credited with helping to break color barriers by becoming the first black superstar within the genre. A true living legend, he has sold tens of millions of records worldwide with his large repertoire of hits. A three-time GRAMMY® award and Recording Academy “Lifetime Achievement Award” winner, Pride has garnered no less than 36 chart-topping country hits, including “Kiss An Angel Good Morning,” a massive #1 crossover hit that sold over a million singles and helped Pride land the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award in 1971 and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972. A proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, Pride continues to perform concerts worldwide and has toured the United States, Canada, Ireland, The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand over the last several years. For more information, visit CharleyPride.com.
About The Grand Ole Opry:
The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every Friday and Saturday of the year, with Tuesday night shows through December and season Opry Country Classics shows on Thursdays. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com. The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating nine decades of entertainment, the Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP). For more information, visit opry.com.
About 650 AM WSM:
650 AM WSM’s first official broadcast day was October 5, 1925. The station is the radio home of the Grand Ole Opry, which has been broadcast live over the WSM airwaves since its inception. 650 AM WSM is owned by Ryman Hospitalities (NYSE: RHP). A weekly listing of all 650 AM WSM programming is available at wsmonline.com.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Oak Ridge Boys will travel to Houston, Texas Saturday to celebrate the life of Former First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush. The Oaks share a long loving history with the Bush family.
The Oak Ridge Boys have shared the Bush’s company almost every year since 1982 when George H.W. Bush was Vice President to Ronald Reagan. President Reagan had invited the group to play at the Congressional barbecue on the lawn of the White House, and that afternoon they saw the Vice President taking long strides toward them.
“I can’t be at the show tonight, fellas,” he said. “But I love The Oak Ridge Boys, so could you sing a few songs before I go?”
Since that time, the Oaks and their wives have been the guests of President and Mrs. Bush at their homes in Kennebunkport and Houston, or on one of the numerous occasions where the Bushes have attended the Oaks’ shows, most often at the Opera House in Galveston, Texas.
They have also been guests at and/or performed at the White House at the behest of the Bushes. During President Bush’s re-election campaign, the group traveled on Air Force One with the First Couple.
From Joe Bonsall’s book On the Road with The Oak Ridge Boys (Harvest House, 2015) —Two events with President Bush #41 are very memorable. Once, while he was President, we were in the Oval Office with him, and he said, “Hey, I have to show you where I listen to you fellows here… I have a new sound set that is just great.”
Well, he leads us to a small private inner office right behind the Oval Office and he turns on the sound. Immediately “Dig A Little Deeper In The Well” blares out of the speakers, and we are all grooving and laughing when I notice the RED PHONE on the desk. I was thinking, ‘Boy, if this rings he will never hear it!’
Then there was the time on the campaign trail that has been chronicled in several books. We were on Air Force One and everyone on the plane knew that the election in 1992 was lost and that the young Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, would be the next President. Well, President Bush’s son George W. Bush came back to where we were seated and spoke in a soft voice.
“My dad really needs you guys right now… he’s kind of down and really needs a lift,” he said.
He led us to the front of the plane to a version of the Oval Office and there sat the President. We gathered around him and sang “Amazing Grace.” There was not a dry eye on Air Force One as everyone came up to the front as we sang. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. None of us will!
Also from On the Road…George and Barbara Bush have invited The Oak Ridge Boys and our wives to Kennebunkport, Maine many times over the years and for us it is like staying at the world’s greatest bed and breakfast – only much better! The historic vibes alone in this wonderful place is mesmerizing. World leaders of all kinds have met here over many decades and to stand here on this veranda and gaze out over the North Atlantic is always very humbling and thought provoking. We have put on some wonderful private shows for the Bush family and their friends here and as a reward for singing we eat great food and even get to go fishing way off the Maine Coast with #41 on his monster speedboat The Fidelity. As recently as last fall (2014) the four of us were singing in New York State and made a quick swing over to Maine to share a bit of Lobster with the Bushes at Walkers Point. Talk about old friends… These precious people are getting older now as well and I dread the day when I will hear that we have lost them. The greatest memories I have during this life of singing songs are the direct result of our friendship with George and Barbara Bush.
– One time at Walker’s Point a bunch of those Segway things turned up. Everyone was freewheeling all around the grounds when a secret service agent invited me to give it a try. I (Joe) lost control immediately and went head over teakettle right into Barbara Bush’s garden. I really made a mess, too. I ran to my cabin to bandage up and hide from her for almost two hours.
– In late 2013 we were told that CNN Films and The Bush #41 Library and Foundation was putting together a documentary that would show right after the 90th Birthday of George H.W. Bush in June of 2014. Well, a camera crew came to a show and filmed us sitting in a semi-circle telling stories. That night on the show the crew filmed us singing “Amazing Grace” and that was it. Fast forward to June 15, 2014. The film is called “41 on 41,” where the complete story of the 41st President of The United States is revealed through the lens and the story telling of 41 friends. It was magnificent and very moving. I sat in front of my TV and took in every moment, but I’ll tell you as I witnessed the way the documentary flowed I could not envision The Oak Ridge Boys fitting in and we didn’t. As the two-hour film entered the last half hour I really figured that we had ended up on the editing room floor and I was fine with it. I was so honored just to know this man, and I was so moved by the story of this great American. Then with two minutes left I heard my voice saying, “Here is a song for our President George Herbert Walker Bush” and there I was up on the screen. We started to sing “Amazing Grace.” There appeared a full panorama of the Oaks and the script underneath said, ‘The Oak Ridge Boys in a special performance.’ Then the credits rolled as we continued to sing, and I was so overcome with emotion that I wept my eyes out right there on my couch! We were the only music act to appear on “41 on 41,”and we will forever be grateful to CNN Films and The George H.W. Bush Library for including us. AGAIN… we are honored beyond words to once again sing “Amazing Grace” for our President… George Herbert Walker Bush!
Duane Allen shares a fun story about the family’s famous dog Millie:
“We were eating dinner with the Bush family at Kennebunkport… “Millie”, the famous dog, was hanging around me because I had been playing with her. So, I gave her a bite from my food, and Barbara caught me. She asked, “What are you doing? Millie is on a strict diet, and you cannot give her food from the table.” I felt like crawling under the table. What Barbara did not know was this – earlier in the afternoon, I had been out on the deck, watching the ocean and enjoying just being outside. I was drinking sweet iced tea and eating pistachio nuts – throwing the nut shells over the deck wall, down the rocks that led to the ocean. “Millie” had been with me on the deck, and we became good friends quickly. What I did not know was that “Millie” would disappear and go around the deck wall, and eat those pistachio nut shells. I looked around and they were all gone – she had eaten all of those shells. Well, at the dinner table later on, “Millie” had come to me for more treats. I dared not tell Barbara that she had been eating pistachio nut shells all afternoon. I expected that she would get sick or die from those shells. Thank God she just passed them on! Hahahaha! “Barbara, if you are reading this, I am sooooo sorry.” – Duane
Oak Ridge Boys individual notes:
– Texas born Duane Allen campaigned for the young politician in the 1960s. Duane and his college buddies covered areas around northeast Texas with flyers. He was attending Texas A&M at Commerce, Texas:
I did not meet the Bush family in the 60’s. My older brother John Allen was in the House of Representatives and he asked me to place flyers on cars and strip malls all over northeast Texas. My brother was the first person to ever tell me about George Bush. I said to him, “We Allens are Democrats.” My brother John, a Democrat, said, “I know, he is a Republican, but we need to get him elected because he is a good man.” – Duane
– Richard’s wife, Donna, chaired the Bushes’ 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration at the Grand Ole Opry House in 1995. The event was a fundraiser for several charities and attended by the Bush family as well as friends, celebrities, and political dignitaries.
– Barbara Bush not only encouraged Joe to write his parents’ memoir, G.I. Joe & Lillie: A Life of Love & Loyalty (New Leaf Press, 2003), she contributed the Foreword to the book.
– William Lee Golden’s oil painting, entitled Bush Garden, which was inspired by a walk in Mrs. Bush’s garden at Walker’s Point, has been displayed at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
About The Oak Ridge Boys:
The Oak Ridge Boys, who have sold over 41 million units worldwide, are synonymous with “America, apple pie, baseball, pop, rock, gospel and country music.” In addition to their awards and accolades in the country and pop music fields, they have garnered five GRAMMY® Awards and nine GMA DOVE Awards as well as the Mainstream Artist of the Year Award at the ICM Awards. The group—Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban—have earned prestigious membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame (2015 Inductees) and Grand Ole Opry, and are known worldwide as one of recording history’s most extraordinary musical successes. They have charted single after single and album after album, celebrating two double-platinum albums and more than 30 Top 10 hits, including No. 1 chart-toppers “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” among dozens more. For more information and to view upcoming tour dates for The Oak Ridge Boys, please visit oakridgeboys.com.
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Deana Martin returns to the Showroom at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas for her next edition of The Deana Martin Celebrity Roast honoring the ‘Man of the Hour’ – world-renowned actor, producer, writer and director, Joe Mantegna on Sunday, April 15 at 6 p.m. Deana Martin continues her father’s legacy by recreating The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, which ran on NBC between 1974 to 1984.
Joe Mantegna, best known for his role as David Rossi in the CBS hit-series Criminal Minds, is the “Man of the Hour,’ and will have his life and career roasted by special celebrity guests. In addition, Mantegna is known for roles In box office hits, including Three Amigos, The Godfather Part III and Up Close & Personal. Mantegna won a Tony Award for David Mamet’s play Glengarry Glen Ross and earned Emmy Award nominations for his roles in three different miniseries: The Last Don (1997), The Rat Pack (Starring as Dean Martin,1999), and The Starter Wife (2007). He’s also known for his role voicing Fat Tony in The Simpsons.
Deana is excited to announce the celebrity guests who will join her in roasting Joe Mantegna: Singer, actor, and star of Saturday Night Live, Joe Piscopo; actor and Sopranos guest star, Lou Martini, Jr.; star of Westworld, Clifton Collins; star of Criminal Minds, Kirsten Vangsness; star of NYPD Blue, Gail O’Grady; “The Bad Boy of New Jersey” comedian, Mike Marino; director and star of Criminal Minds, Matthew Gray Gubler; and legendary comedian and Tonight Show Host, Tom Dreesen.
“Joe Mantegna is ‘one of the good guys’, so roasting him will be difficult. But with our creative and talented cast of Roasters, we will take no prisoners. So, fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night,” says Deana Martin
Tickets for The Deana Martin Celebrity Roast are available for purchase on the South Point website.
For additional information on Deana Martin’s appearances and concert events, please visit www.DeanaMartin.com.
About Deana Martin:
Deana Martin is an influential American singer, actor and performer and the very proud daughter of iconic entertainer, Dean Martin. Her 2006 debut CD release, “Memories Are Made of This,” stayed in the top ten for 40 consecutive weeks. Her follow-up CD, 2009’s, ” Volare,” debuted in the top ten of the Billboard charts, followed by 2011’s seasonal evergreen, “White Christmas,” 2013’s critically acclaimed “Destination Moon” and her latest, 2016’s “Swing Street,” garnered airplay on top jazz, standards and country radio stations, emphasizing her prominent status as a hit recording artist.
As a celebrated author, Deana found herself on the New York Times’ coveted #1 Best Seller list with her 2004 memoir, “Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter’s Eyes.” In it, she shares never-before-told stories about her father and his ‘pallies’. The e-book version returned Ms. Martin to the best-selling book charts in 2015 on Wall Street Journal’s roster of best-selling e-books.
Deana Martin’s next concert date:
April 20 – Lorenzo’s, Staten Island, N.Y.
Deana Martin Media Contacts:
Jeremy Westby, firstname.lastname@example.org, 833-537-2911 x800
Jason Ashcraft, email@example.com, 833-537-2911 x801
Rosario Roller, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Ruined This Town,” the debut single from Lee Gantt’s Casa Blvd EP has been gaining momentum since being added to radio playlists throughout the U.S. Radio stations that have added “Ruined This Town” to their rotation are: Ohio’s WCLT, Arkansas’ KCNY, Louisiana’s KQKI, Missouri’s KCLQ & KICK-FM, Illinois’ WMCI, Oklahoma’s KWHW & KEYB, Texas’ KYYK, Kentucky’s WGGC and Renegade Radio Nashville, just to name a few. Additionally, Heartland TV Network added “Ruined This Town” to their Country Music Today and Heartland Third Shift segments. Heartland TV’s Stacy Newman interviewed Lee at CRS 2018, and you can watch the interview by clicking here.
Additionally, Gantt announced that he will be sharing the stage with Dustin Lynch for WCOL’s Red, White & Country concert on July 4th, in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio at Flannagan’s Dublin. Tickets go on sale TODAY and can be purchased at the Flannagan’s Dublin website.
“You can normally tell which songs will strike a chord with people the first time you hear them because it hits you the same way it will hit them,” Gantt explained. “Ruined This Town’ was that song for me! The overwhelming popularity of this song on country radio and with country music fans is something I am proud of, and look forward to sharing this song with many more country music fans!”
Lee GanttLee Gantt honed his musical craft while attending college at The Ohio State University, performing at local clubs around the area. His music reflects the story-telling tradition of artists such as Hank Williams Jr and George Jones, while pushing the musical envelope in a likewise manner to today’s biggest artists such as Eric Church and Jason Aldean. He has opened shows for such chart-topping favorites as Dustin Lynch, Chris Young, and Colt Ford. Gantt has already started to develop a loyal legion of fans who follow him throughout his social networks, and have helped to make his 2017 debut EP Casa Blvd, a critically-acclaimed favorite.
For more information on Lee Gantt, visit www.leeganttmusic.com.
About Lee Gantt:
Lee Gantt hails from Columbus, Ohio, and honed his craft while attending college at The Ohio State University, performing at local clubs around the area. His music reflects the story-telling tradition of artists such as Hank Williams Jr and George Jones, while pushing the musical envelope in a likewise manner to today’s biggest artists such as Eric Church and Jason Aldean. He has opened shows for such chart-topping favorites as Dustin Lynch, Chris Young, and Colt Ford. Gantt has already started to develop a loyal legion of fans who follow him throughout his social networks, and have helped to make his 2017 debut EP Casa Blvd, a critically-acclaimed favorite.