Surprising the Oak Ridge Boys

October 21st, 2016

Classic. The Boys didn’t know we were going to show up. They expected a pilot friend – we had emailed that “Mark” would be there and sure would like to hear “It Takes A Little Rain”.

We had told him our pilot friend Mark was going to be in the audience this night and would they please sing It Takes a Little Rain. Well, it was true when we said it, we just didn’t mention he was piloting us to WV for a fundraiser for the hungry. However, Mark couldn’t stay but would be back the next day to pick us up.

We were sitting in their “dressing room”. Joe walked in first. I smiled at him, waved. He smiled back. This time his recognition time was a lot faster than at the CMOF last year = one could see it race across his face and the realization if you’re here, then the – and he turned and saw the General. Pure joy. (Both on Joe’s and the General’s part) I loved that!

And in turn each walked in and did each’s version of a double-take. I wonder if Duane “knows’ me and just is never surprised that we turn up anywhere. Richard was next wearing his gorgeous blazer that Donna picked out and then William Lee dressed as mountain man. Each in turn was thrilled.

I said we were passing by on our way to West Virginia….and couldn’t just pass by!

DK, as always very thoughtful, had staked out a place for us in the wings. Before the Oaks came on, he introduced the greatest pilot in the world and a hero among heroes – General Chuck Yeager. The audience was thrilled and gave him a standing ovation.

General Yeager said a few words which delighted the crowd, the Boys came out, greeted Gen Yeager and we went back to the wings to enjoy the show.

I was enjoying the chair they had placed on the side for me – it was a throne and very comfortable. DK also placed a speaker right in front of us. I was wary thinking it would be too loud but it was perfect. In fact, it was the best musically because I could pick out individual instruments, including voices, more easily that I had missed before.

Richard was his terrific self – The stage is huge and so he seemed so far away but his voice wasn’t especially with that special speaker.

William Lee led a song new to me – just beautiful. I so enjoy the tableaux the boys do – even from the side.

I marveled at the talent and experience that caused Roger to nonchalantly lean over and adjust something on the board below regarding the sound of his guitar.

Each time we see them, the Boys and the Band seem to be having more and more fun. Jeff, who used to play from out in the wings, was now moving around to different spots. I teased him during intermission. It looked like he was checking out each musician like a school marm.

Scotty has his arms placed nonchalantly as though he’s almost too poised, too cool to get down.

Rex, well he showed he could dance well and all the way back from the front of the stage to his perch stage right.

Dave, the drummer, waved just before he took the stage.

And Ron. Well Ron has great style on the keyboard.

The Boys sang several of our favorite songs and towards the end of the 1st half of the show, Joe Bonsall was talking about attending the CMOF ceremony last Sunday. Gen Yeager had tweeted, How time flies. Last year you were the new guys, now you’re the old heads.

Joe stated he couldn’t find the Boys bronze heads. A member said everyone is equal after the 1st year so there is no order.

Joe found the foreheads and just under the foreheads were their names and just under the names – (Wait why would the names be just under the foreheads and thus across their eyes, I wondered) – was a date and then a – (dash)…We all laughed while I was still pondering the foreheads issue. I thought I have to go back there and inspect that. Then I did a little mental spellcheck and had an aha laugh, FOUR heads. Phew! Forestalled a permanent brain tilt.

I noticed something else – Joe is a switch tapper – or did I notice this before? Gen Y pointed out Joe’s new shoes so I started watching – and he heel taps either foot. I studied this for a while and could find no apparent rhyme or reason either as to which foot.

I also noticed – all of the shoes – needed re-heeling. If any of them get backaches, that’s why – the heels are worn. All that fun tapping.

GCY asked me, I wonder if they’re going to play It Takes a Little Rain.

Me: Oh I think so.

Not long after, Joe told of our surprise that we showed up instead of our friend “Mark”.

Joe continued: We’re playing It Takes A Little Rain tonight because…well… the General ordered us to. And when the General orders you….

As soon as Duane got to It Takes-

General Yeager said, Yes!

A little rain…..

I don’t know how they do it. Each time is different and better than the last. How is that possible? Duane added some riff, WL added some clapping, a little different tonight – as it always is because, well…they all feel it, it’s personal. When Duane finished, he wiped his eyes, General Yeager wiped his eyes… I blinked mine back. Richard, Joe, and Duane turned away immediately.


  1. GCYI


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