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The Oak Ridge Boys Are the Grand Ole Opry’s Newest Inductees

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Since they started making music together way back in 1947, the Oak Ridge Boys have topped the country charts more than 15 times, won four CMAs and a Grammy, and sold millions of records — but one honor has eluded them.

Until last week, that is, when the Oak Ridge Boys — or “the Oaks,” as former President George Bush referred to them in a tribute filmed specially for the occasion — were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

“I cannot think of any group or any person who deserve this honor more,” said Bush, who shared the story of the time the band performed its number one hit ‘Elvira’ on the White House lawn. “I ran outside like a little kid,” he recalled, “and I’ve been blessed to call them friends ever since. I think of the Opry and the Oaks both as American icons, beloved from coast to coast and known around the world. I can’t think of a better union. I love you boys, and my best to everyone at the Grand Ole Opry, one of my favorite places in America.”

Member Joe Bonsall, the ‘new guy’ in the group with only 38 years’ tenure under his belt, told the crowd, “We’ve always been a friend of the Opry. We’ve always believed in the Opry and loved and respected every member of this brotherhood and sisterhood of country music. We’ve been nervous wrecks all day long because we knew how special this would be. This is a meaningful night, and is it different tonight than it ever has been when we’ve come down here to sing? You bet your life it is!”

[Taste of Country]

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