Ben James on Huckabee with the Oak Ridge Boys

Bluegrass vocalist Ben James, a newly-minted member of the Oak Ridge Boys, made his television debut with the world famous quartet last weekend on Huckabee.

James, a former member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Dailey & Vincent, had been pursuing a solo career in bluegrass when contacted by the Oaks to step in for tenor Joe Bonsall, who had decided to give up touring for medical reasons. The Oak Ridge Boys start on a lengthy Farewell Tour this weekend, and stopped by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s television show in Nashville to get the word out.

On the episode aired this past Sunday, Ben was called upon to sing lead on Elvira, perhaps the Oaks’ biggest hit, alongside longtime vocalists Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban.

He said it has been a an amazing ride…

“It has been a dream come true becoming an Oak Ridge Boy. I grew up with their music, and performing nightly with them is a ‘pinch me’ moment with every song. This weekend was extra special as we made our way to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time together. I love the Oaks, and I love and admire Joe Bonsall!”

Here’s video of their performance, with Governor Huckabee on bass, as always.

Well done Ben!

Billing this as their Farewell Tour could mean that this year may be your last chance to see the Oak Ridge Boys in person, but you never know. Bluegrass lovers will certainly enjoy seeing and hearing a familiar face and voice with such a legendary act.

You can see all the tour stops online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.