Elvira (1970) (1981)

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The Oak Ridge Boys, a country and gospel group that was founded in 1945 as the Oak Ridge Quartet. They became popular during the 1950s.

Their name was changed to the Oak Ridge Boys in the early 1960s, and they remained a gospel-oriented group until the mid 1970s, when they changed their image and concentrated more on country and pop music.

The band's current lineup consists of lead Duane Allen, tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden, and bass Richard Sterban.

Prior to joining the Oak Ridge Boys in 1972, Sterban toured with J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet and sang backup for Elvis Presley.

Rodney Crowell's version of "Elvira", which was a minor hit in 1978, was the one that inspired the Oak Ridge Boys to record the song for their 1981 album Fancy Free, which became their biggest-selling album.

Released in March 1981, "Elvira" became their fourth #1 US Country hit.

"Elvira" was certified platinum for sales of 2 million units by the RIAA, a distinction that, for years, it shared only with "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

Elvira is a name of Spanish origin that was originally believed to be of Arabic origin, meaning "the white". Other theories are that it is of Germanic or West Gothic origin and that the name means "alert" or "trustworthy".

Chart position: #5 (US), #1 (US Country), (US Adult Contemporary).

"Elvira" was the Oak Ridge Boys' biggest pop hit.

It was preceded at #1 on the US Country chart by "Seven Year Ache" (Rosanne Cash) and succeeded by "Friends" (Razzy Bailey).

The Top Ten Songs: July 25, 1981 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "The One that You Love" (Air Supply)
  2. "Bette Davis Eyes" (Kim Carnes)
  3. "Jessie's Girl" (Rick Springfield)
  4. "Theme from The Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not)" (Joey Scarbury) 
  5. "Elvira" (Oak Ridge Boys)
  6. "I Don't Need You" (Kenny Rogers)
  7. "Slow Hand" (Pointer Sisters)
  8. "You Make My Dreams" (Daryl Hall and John Oates)
  9. "Boy from New York City" (Manhattan Transfer)
  10. "Hearts" (Marty Balin)
  Written by: Dallas Frazier (born October 27, 1939 in Spiro, Oklahoma.)

Dallas Frazier wrote many others hits, as well, including "Alley Oop", "Mohair Sam" and "There Goes My Everything".

According to Nashville music producer Ray Baker, he and Dallas Frazier were driving through Nashville one afternoon in 1966 and almost ran a red light at the intersection of Gallatin Road and...Elvira Street.

Baker: "Dallas looked up and noticed the street sign. Immediately he started singing the chorus to what would become the song 'Elvira.' He had a strong R&B background from California and thought it would be clever to rhyme Elvira with the word Fira, as some black artist might have sang it."

Also by: Kenny Rogers (born Kenneth Ray Rogers August 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas) and the First Edition. It was released on their fifth album, Something's Burning, in 1970.

Rogers was voted the "Favorite Singer of All-Time" in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People, and has received hundreds of awards for both his music and charity work. These include AMAs, Grammys, ACMs and CMAs, as well as a lifetime achievement award for a career spanning six decades in 2003.

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