Oak Ridge Boys have fans jumpin' and hollerin' for Elvira

Oct. 25—LIMA — It wasn't a full house, but those who were at the Veterans Memorial Civic Center on Sunday to see the Oak Ridge Boys were true fans, like Belinda Carpenter from Dover, Ohio.

"My sister and I have been to 50 some odd concerts since before 1977. We saw them in Cleveland at the Civic Center up there with Kenny Rogers and Dottie West, that was the first one we'd ever been to," Carpenter said.

The Oak Ridge Boys were formed in the 1940s as the Oak Ridge Quartet and rose in popularity in the 1950s singing Southern gospel music.

Today's lineup includes Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban.

"I love Richard and William. They're all just so wonderful though. They each have their own space in my heart," Carpenter said.

The band came to prominence 40 years ago in 1981 when the song Elvira climbed to No. 1 on the country charts and No. 5 on the pop charts.

Todd Ridenour drove from the Akron suburb of Tallmadge, Ohio, to Lima with his wife Debbie. They're both big fans of the Oak Ridge Boys.

How big?

"Probably 200% fan," Todd Ridenour said. "I always like the old country music and those guys are down-to-earth guys. They're good American guys. You know they play good music and got good morals."

"It's just good wholesome music. Just good entertainers," said Debbie Ridenour.

Their favorites?

"'Thank God for Kids' is a favorite and of course 'Elvira'," Debbie said.

"I like all their songs. There's isn't a bad one out there," Todd said.

Belinda Fetters, from Uniopolis, didn't have far to come for the concert but it's one she didn't want to miss.

She was one of the first ones to get the seats down front.

"I bought them very early. I saw it and I was like Oh God, I gotta go. This is probably my third time seeing them. The first time I saw them was at Country Concert when my kids were little," Fetters said. "I've liked these guys since before my kids were even born, that's how old I am. 'Elvira' is probably the song that gets me going. They just make me happy. When they're on the radio and I turn it up," Fetters said.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.