By Wayne Allen
In what has become an annual holiday show, the Oak Ridge Boys are set to bring their Christmas show to the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on Nov. 24.
“It’s amazing, the tradition we’ve built in Portsmouth,” Joe Bonsall, a member of the Oak Ridge Boys since 1973, said. “Every once and a while, we run across a town where our show becomes a tradition. Portsmouth is definitely one of the highlights to me.”
Bonsall said it does not matter if the Portsmouth show is late in the tour or early in the tour, Portsmouth is a highlight.
When asked what stands out to him about the Portsmouth show, Bonsall explained that it is a combination of a lot of things.
“So many people there seem to build their Christmas around the Oak Ridge Boys show. When I go out on that stage, I feel so at home there. I think the Oak Ridge Boys feel at home there,” Bonsall said. “We so look forward to putting on this show. We’re going to do 33 Christmas shows this year in 29 cities and 20 states.”
Bonsall said the Christmas tour will end on December 23 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
When asked about this year’s Christmas show, Bonsall said, “it will be very similar to what you’ve seen before. We’ve changed it up some, we’ve got some new production here and there. There are some songs that will be on the show this year that was not on the show last year.”
He said that, for the first half of the show, the Oak Ridge Boys will perform some of their hit songs, such as “Elvira” and many others. The second half of the show is Christmas.
“We’re bringing back the peterbilt sleigh, the fireplace and some of the things people are familiar with,” Bonsall said.
According to biographical information, the Oak Ridge Boys have been together for 50 years. Bonsall said the group has no signs of stopping.
“We love it. This is a forward thinking group. I’m very fortunate to be apart of a group that looks ahead. How can we do it better this year, than we did last year?” Bonsall said. “There’s never no quit or stopping in this group. It’s a great thing to be a part of.”
According to the McKinley Box Office, inside the Vern Riffe Center For the Arts, there are about 60 tickets remaining for the Oak Ridge Boys performance on November 24.
For more information about the Oak Ridge Boys and performance details, visit www.oakridgeboys.com.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT