Oak Ridge Boys return to Merrillville

2013-11-20T17:15:00Z 2014-04-13T17:19:39Z Oak Ridge Boys return to MerrillvilleEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

Country harmonies and huge hits will shine this weekend during the Oak Ridge Boys concert in Merrillville.

The Oak Ridge Boys will bring their annual show to the Region when they perform Sunday at Star Plaza Theatre.

"It's been a tradition to perform there," said Richard Sterban, who does bass vocals for the Oak Ridge Boys. Sterban, along with Jon Bonsall, Duane Allen and William Lee Golden, make up the group which has garnered numerous music awards and other honors through the years.

The current concert will include the group's hit numbers as well as a few Christmas songs thrown in to celebrate the season, Sterban said, adding it's not an all-inclusive holiday show.

"I don't think we've missed a year playing there," he said. Fans long celebrated New Year's Eve with the Oaks in Merrillville as they annually performed a New Year's show. Then the production switched to a Christmas-themed concert.

Sterban said the group is performing a Christmas show today and Thursday at The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre in Branson, Mo. and will continue their tour through December. They also already have tour dates planned for well into 2014.

According to Sterban, the band members are looking forward to being back in the area.

"We have a loyal core of fans there who've been coming to our shows every year. They plan on it," Sterban said. "People go crazy (at the shows) so it makes our job easy."

This year the mighty Oaks are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

"One of the reasons we're still around is we still love what we do," Sterban said.

During the current Christmas tour, Sterban said the group has partnered with the organization Compassion International, a group which helps needy children around the world.

"We've worked with a lot of children's organizations through the years and we're very impressed with this group," he said. "It's a Christ-centered organization."

Sterban said the boys will release a new live album as their next project. The album is complete but he said they "have to go into the studio to tweek it and fix some parts."

He said he's also looking forward to the Oak Ridge Boys cruise called Rally at Sea, scheduled for Feb. 22 to March 1, 2014. For more information on the cruise and other projects, visit oakridgeboys.com.

For the Oak Ridge Boys Merrillville concert, the group Gentleman's Rule will open the show.

FYI: The Oak Ridge Boys (also featuring opening act Gentleman's Rule) will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $49 and $39. Visit starplazatheatre.com.

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