When we think “Elvira,” we immediately think the Oak Ridge Boys but the song goes way back before they recorded it and made it a hit.

elvira, oak ridge boys

via the Oak Ridge Boys’ Facebook page

All About “Elvira”

Despite “Elvira” being a girl’s name, the song itself isn’t actually about anyone in particular. The original songwriter of “Elvira” is Dallas Frazier. According to a story told by Ray Baker, who helped Dallas work on this single, the inspiration for the song came from a street sign.

In an interview with SongFacts, Ray Baker recalls the story saying:

“. . . Dallas and I were driving in my car in East Nashville one afternoon and I almost ran a red light at the intersection of Gallatin Road (a main thoroughfare) and a side street called Elvira Street.

I stopped in time and while we were sitting there drinking beer and having a good time, Dallas looked up and noticed the street sign. Immediately he started singing the chorus to what would become the song ‘Elvira.’

He had a strong R&B background from California and thought it would be clever to rhyme Elvira with the word Fira, as some black artist might have sang it. He wound up recording it himself for Capitol records and it was a regional hit in several places like Houston, Texas back in 1967.”

When Dallas released the song, it became a minor hit that helped him get noticed on the stage. However, years later, the Oak Ridge Boys recorded their rendition of the song and this became a classic for the band.

Before the Oak Ridge Boys, many other artists recorded their covers for the song but it was only when the band recorded their version of it that it became a huge hit.

Their rendition of the song was a hit worldwide, taking the top spots in the US Country Charts and the Canada RPM Country Tracks. Along with that, the song also managed to make it in the top 100 of the music charts in many other countries like New Zealand and Australia.

Check out their performance of the song here!

Here’s another performance of The Oak Ridge Boys with Home Free!