September 10

How the Man in Black Lit up the Way for the Oakridge Boys’ Stardom

Oakridge Boys on Johnny Cash (c) Grammy Foundation
The Oakridge Boys on Johnny Cash (c) Grammy Foundation

In an interview for the Grammy Foundation, bass singer Richard Sterban of America’s Favorite Gospel Quartet, The Oakridge Boys, recounted a time when Cash called the Quartet in his room.

Though still employed and doing tours with established artists, the boys were in low spirits. Had it not been for Cash booking them in his Vegas show, they would have disbanded early. Their heads above waters, the group’s dejected on their career’s direction. Hence, their decision to pack up after the tour.

No Oakridge Boys without Johnny Cash

Cash, having seen the Oakridge Boys’ potential, rallied them. Ever the visionary, Cash encouraged them not to give up and to find a way to stick together. With just a few words enlightenment from the Man in Black, the Boys were fired up. Sterban, in particular, thought that if Johnny Cash thinks they’ll make it big someday, then they surely will.

Sure enough, Oakridge Boys became one of the buzzwords in the 70s and 80s. Many of their songs soared to the charts. Soon, they became a recipient of a CMA Award. It’s their first and on that special day, Cash was the one hosting. Unable to contain their excitement, they head straight to where Cash was standing and hugged him. Here’s what Cash told them on that fateful meeting:

“See Fellas, I told you it’s gonna happen.”

Here’s an excerpt from the Grammy Foundation interview. Be inspired!

And here’s an old clip of the Boys making an appearance on the Johnny Cash Show

Place Called Heaven – The Oakridge Boys

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Tags

Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash Show, Oakridge Boys, richard sterban, The Man in Black


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