by Christyn Ross
The 1970’s marks an important period in the country music scene. This is when a prolific gospel quartet by the name of the Oak Ridge Boys made the cross-over to country, wowing audiences everywhere with their unique style and tight harmonies. With many number one hits and awards to their credit, and having traveled the circuits of two genres, the Oak Ridge Boys have become a household name nationwide.
While it is hard not to capture the Oak Ridge Boys at their best, Bill Gaither went far beyond, highlighting the Oaks at their finest. Filmed at Gaither Studios among a selection of close friends, the fabulous foursome take us for a walk down memory lane with present and past hits as well as some vintage footage of the “gospel years”.
The DVD/CD begins perfectly with their number one Gospel hit “Jesus is Coming Soon”, as well as another favorite “I Know”. Of course, no Oak Ridge special would be complete without a rendition of “El Vira”, which was a definitely a favorite among their audience. Bill Gaither continues to take us several years back with some vintage footage showcasing “Jesus is the Man for the Hour” and “Because He Lives”. With so many songs, it is hard to choose the few that stand out. However, the other song titles include: “Did I Make A Difference”, “Jonah, Job, and Moses”, “An American Family”, “Closer to Home”, “Gonna Live With Jesus in the End”, the 1974 Grammy Award winning “Baptism of Jesse Taylor”, “Loving God, Loving Each Other” (sung by the Oaks, Gaither Vocal Band, and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound), and end it with a couple of Red Book traditionals, “Where the Soul Never Dies” and “Just A Little Talk With Jesus”.
This DVD is well done, as is any Gaither production, and provided the Oaks a great chance to revisit their gospel roots. The distinctive, platform performance is ninety minutes of great music with a wide variety of both classic and new songs. The Oak Ridge Boys definitely have that same great energy and audience connection as they had thirty years ago. I would highly recommend this recent Gaither project to anyone. You will not be disappointed!