The Oak Ridge Boys Honored With Tennessee Music Pathways Marker

The Oak Ridge Boys began 80 years ago as The Oak Ridge Quartet as a gospel quartet, before becoming one of country music’s supergroups for the last more than 50 years. To honor their legendary and unprecedented career, the group has been honored with a Tennessee Music Pathways marker in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where their historic career began.

William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban were on hand to receive the honor, joined by Tennessee Representative John Reagan, Oak Ridge Mayor, Warren Gooch, and family members of former Oak Ridge Boys’ Wally Fowler and Lon “Deacon” Freeman, both original members of The Oak Ridge Quartet.

“It was a very special day,” Golden says of receiving the honor. “Being part of this remarkable group is something I never take for granted. Our journey has been uniquely blessed and one that very few have had the opportunity to achieve. I am thankful to Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, and Richard Sterban for their contributions to The Oak Ridge Boys, along with our band and co-workers. A special thank you to Gus Arrendale and Springer Mountain Farms for helping make this day possible!”

“I can’t think of anywhere I would rather have been than at the Grove Theater in Oak Ridge with the kind folks at The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development who worked so hard to design this marker,” adds Sterban. “The Oak Ridge Boys as a group goes back 80 years to the original members, Wally Fowler, Lon ‘Deacon’ Freeman, Curly Kinsey, and Johnny New, and we have never forgotten them or their contributions. It has been a privilege to build on that.”

The new accolade comes as The Oak Ridge Boys are on their American Made: Farewell Tour, saying goodbye to the fans who have been supporting them for decades.

“We are doing a farewell tour because we owe it to our fans to say goodbye,” Golden said when the tour was announced. “They have always been there for us through the good times and the bad. I will always be thankful to every person who came out to a show, bought a t-shirt, played our music, and overall, loved us enough to spend their hard-earned money whenever they could. This tour is for you!”

The group ranges in age from 75 to 84, which is why they are ready to ease up on their rigorous tour schedule, although it is bittersweet for the Country Music Hall of Fame members.

“It’s a time of reflecting and there’s a sadness about being able that it’s a farewell tour,” Golden told Billboard. “But there’s the other side that you feel so blessed because of your singing partners, the people that you’ve been able to travel with and sing with. The accomplishments that we’ve had together is four guys, regardless of our different backgrounds, coming together and we each bring a uniqueness to the group with our contributions.

“It’s exciting to have been able to have survived this many years with the same lineup of singers, and to be able to go out there and thank people,” he continued. “It’s going to be an emotional tour.”

The Oak Ridge Boys, fortunately, continue to add dates into 2024 to their American Made: Farewell Tour. See all of their upcoming shows at

The Oak Ridge Boys American Made: Farewell Tour Dates:

The Oak Ridge Boys Upcoming Tour Dates:
NOV 21 – Vern Riffe Center for the Arts / Portsmouth, Ohio
NOV 24 – Honeywell Center / Wabash, Ind.
NOV 25 – Paramount Theatre / Anderson, Ind.
NOV 26 – Midland Center for the Arts / Midland, Mich.
NOV 30 – Weldon Mills Theatre / Roanoke Rapids, N.C.
DEC 01 – Renfro Valley Barn Dance / Mount Vernon, Ky.
DEC 02 – Anderson Music Hall / Hiawassee, Ga.
DEC 07 – Firekeepers Casino / Battle Creek, Mich.
DEC 08 – Island Resort & Casino / Harris, Mich.
DEC 09 – Island Resort & Casino / Harris, Mich.
DEC 12 – Ryman Auditorium / Nashville, Tenn.
DEC 14 – The Carson Center / Paducah, Ky.
DEC 15 – Effingham Performance Center / Effingham, Ill.
DEC 16 – Crystal Grand Music Theatre / Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.
DEC 17 – Egyptian Theatre / Dekalb, Ill.
DEC 30 – Harlow’s Casino Resort & Spa / Greenville, Miss.

2024 Tour Dates:
JAN 20 – The Grand 1894 Opera House / Galveston, Texas
JAN 21 – The Grand 1894 Opera House / Galveston, Texas
FEB 02 – Boot Barn Hall / Gainesville, Ga.
FEB 29 – Florida Strawberry Festival / Plant City, Fla.
MAR 01 – The Alliance Center / Burlington, N.C.
MAR 03 – North Auditorium, University of North Alabama / Florence, Ala.
MAR 15 – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Great Cedar Showroom Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Reservation / Mashantucket, Conn.
MAR 16 – American Music Theatre / Lancaster, Pa.
MAR 17 – American Music Theatre / Lancaster, Pa.
MAR 23 – Sugar Creek Casino / Hinton, Okla.
APR 05 – City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium / Morganton, N.C.
APR 06 – Alabama Theatre / North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
APR 10 – Clay County Agricultural Fair / Green Cove Springs, Fla.
APR 13 – George H. Henderson Jr. Exposition Center / Lufkin, Texas