Oak Ridge Boys Premiere New Live Track for Classic 'Elvira,' Talk Story Behind Song

Wendy Geller
The Oak Ridge Boys

Fans of the iconic Oak Ridge Boys have been requesting a live album of hits for quite some years now, but as the band explained, "For some reason or another, the time never seemed right.”

However, that's all changed: In early 2013, the band was able to get its hands on some top quality remote recording equipment, and promptly began capturing performances of their current show (dubbed “Boys Night Out"). The result is a brand-new live album of the same name, comprising 14 of the Oaks' greatest hits and bringing the thrilling stage experience home for their loyal fanbase.

Yahoo Music is excited to offer a first listen to one of the most beloved classics included on the set, none other than the song that the Oaks are perhaps most famous for: "Elvira."

As bass singer Richard Sterban explains of the hit: "We’d had 10 Number One records when we went back into the studio for what would become our 'Fancy Free' project. All of the songs were selected, and the session was set for the first two weeks of January 1981, since the month after Christmas was, typically, a downtime for the Oak Ridge Boys."

"Meanwhile, a song-plugger named Ronnie Gant, who worked for Tree Publishing, was in his home state of Texas for the Christmas holidays. One night, he was in the club, and heard the house band sing 'Elvira' which was a song that had been recorded several times by then. When Ronnie got back to his office, he pulled out the original demo by Dallas Frazier, who had written it. He send it to Ron Chancey, and the following week, at our final pre-session meeting, Chancey played it for us, and, immediately, we got excited. There was just something about it that we loved. We didn’t care if it had been cut before; we didn’t care that is was basically a novelty song. We just knew it was for us...something about it just seemed special."

"Recording sessions, though sometimes stressful and certainly hard work, can also be a lot of fun," he continues. "You’re in a room with no windows to the outside world, surrounded by some of the best musicians in the world; you’re singing new songs – each one perhaps the next hit record. Then things are right, the studio can be a very cool place. Looking back on the 'Elvira' session, it seemed even the session players knew that some magic was being created. There were smiles all around as we laid down the tracks, and we heard the song beginning to come together....the excitement and energy was just infectious."

"Immediately after the session, we were back out on the road doing concerts through the Pacific Northwest. One night in Spokane, Washington, we decided to try “Elvira” out onstage for the first time. We dropped it in the middle of the show, with no introduction or explanation; we just sang it. The place went absolutely crazy; they loved it. We looked at each other and just smiled; we knew we possessed something big. They wouldn’t stop cheering until we sang it again…and again… and again."

Sterbin offers up one final fact that fans most likely already know well: "The Oak Ridge Boys have never once performed a concert in which we did not sing 'Elvira.'"