The Oak Ridge Boys made the bulk of their money in the U.S. and Canada, but after the success of "Elvira" in 1981, the quartet was able to tour extensively outside the United States. This show, recorded for the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio concert series, was recorded in 1985 in Nice, France, one of the last places you might expect to have a popular country music show staged. At the time, the Oak Ridge Boys were promoting their Step On Out album, one of the last to chart in the Top 20.
By the time this show was recorded, the Oak Ridge Boys had conquered three musical genres: Gospel, country, and pop. Although the group's biggest crossover hits, "Elvira" and "Bobbie Sue," were both absent from this show, there are still plenty of fan favorites performed here, including "Dream On," "Fancy Free," "Come On In," "Ozark Mountain Jubilee," and "Only One I Love." The group seems little bit out of its element, mainly because the usual endless stage chatter from the group members was kept to a minimum, presumably because of the language barrier.
The Oak Ridge Boys have a deep and rich musical legacy. They date back to 1942 in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they began as a gospel group led by Wally Fowler. At that time they were called the Oak Ridge Quartet. Fowler kept the group going amid several personnel changes as one of the most popular country-gospel acts in the South through 1956, when he retired. In 1956, he sold the name to then-group member, Smitty Gatlin, who changed the moniker to the Oak Ridge Boys in 1961. When Gatlin became a minister in 1964 he handed over the reigns to the other members, which at that point included William Lee Golden and Duane Allen. Golden and Allen gradually rebuilt the group to its current line up, which has been together since the early 1970s.
The Oak Ridge Boys continue to be a steady concert draw, both at their own theater in Branson, MO, and on the road. Although they still made some gospel-specific records, by the 1980s the Oak Ridge Boys were essentially a country act.