Nashville, Tenn. (July 31, 2023) — It’s history in the making. For the first time ever, iconic country music groups ALABAMA and The Oak Ridge Boys have recorded together in-studio. “Jesus and John Wayne,” a new collaborative effort from two of the biggest bands in country music history, pays tribute to gospel music’s most legendary husband/wife songwriting duo, Bill and Gloria Gaither. The song was released to radio today and goes for adds on August 28. Stream / download “Jesus and John Wayne” HERE.
“It was a fun song to record,” says ALABAMA’s Randy Owen. “Our version with The Oaks singing harmony with us gives this song a strong message.”
“Jesus and John Wayne,” written by the Gaithers (Benjamin Gaither, Bill Gaither, Gloria Gaither and Kim Williams), tells the story of a young man journeying through life, attempting to walk the line between rugged cowboy and sainthood.
“It was an honor to get invited to do a song on Bill and Gloria’s tribute project, especially on such a cool song,” adds ALABAMA’s Teddy Gentry. “And double-fun to have our Hall of Fame brothers, the fabulous Oak Ridge Boys, join us for the first time on a song!”
For both bands, the thrill of finally recording together is a mutual sentiment.
“It was so exciting to record with ALABAMA,” shares Duane Allen of The Oaks. “We have all grown up together in the music business and they are some of our very best friends. To record ‘Jesus and John Wayne’ with ALABAMA, a song written by Bill and Gloria Gaither, is a perfect way to combine the voices and careers of both groups and the writers of this song. We all grew up loving Jesus, and as little boys (we are still little boys at heart!), we also loved John Wayne. I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed singing with ALABAMA.”
Gospel music icons and ASCAP’s Christian Songwriters of the Century Bill and Gloria Gaither have been writing masterpieces since they met over 60 years ago. Their songs have been recorded by countless performers, inspiring people around the world. With the upcoming release of Gaither Tribute, Honoring the Songs of Bill & Gloria Gaither, out August 25 via Gaither Music Group (distributed by Capitol Christian Music Group and Universal Music), the historic pairing of ALABAMA and The Oak Ridge Boys on “Jesus and John Wayne” marks the first radio single to drop.
The collaborations of Bill and Gloria Gaither have resulted in more than 700 popular gospel songs, including the hymnal standards “Because He Lives” and “He Touched Me.” They have collectively garnered eight GRAMMY Awards and more than a dozen nominations; and they have received more than two dozen Gospel Music Association (GMA) DOVE Awards, earning the title “Songwriter of the Year” eight times.
Over 50 years ago, Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama to spend the summer playing music in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina bar called The Bowery. It took them six long years of tip jars and word-of-mouth to earn the major label deal they’d been dreaming of. Then, seemingly no time at all to change the face of country music. ALABAMA, country music’s first band, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. The group is known for hit songs including “Mountain Music,” “Roll On,” “Dixieland Delight” and “If You’re Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have A Fiddle In The Band).” From humble beginnings picking cotton in the fields, to international stars, ALABAMA went on to sell 80 million albums and charted 43 No.1 hits, becoming the most successful band in the history of country music. In November 2022, ALABAMA co-founder Jeff Cook passed following a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. With his prior encouragement and wishes, ALABAMA continues touring on a limited basis, keeping the iconic music they created alive for the current and future generation of fans.
For more information on ALABAMA, visit thealabamaband.com.
About The Oak Ridge Boys
The Oak Ridge Boys have sold over 41 million units worldwide and are synonymous with “America, apple pie, baseball, and country music.” In addition to their awards and accolades in the country music field, the Oaks have garnered five GRAMMY® Awards, nine GMA DOVE Awards, and two American Music Awards. The group—Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban, members of the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame (2015 Inductees) and the Grand Ole Opry (since 2011)—is known worldwide as one of recording history’s most extraordinary musical successes. They have charted single after single and album after album, celebrating two double-platinum albums and more than 30 Top 10 hits, including No. 1 chart-toppers “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” and “Y’all Come Back Saloon,” among dozens more.
For more information on The Oak Ridge Boys, visit oakridgeboys.com.
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