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Happy Birthday to Richard Sterban of The Oak Ridge Boys; Please Avoid the Italian Food

Richard Sterban
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Today is Richard Sterban’s Birthday. The name might not be recognizable to you, but I guarantee you that you have heard his voice…and remembered it. Richard is the bass vocalist for The Oak Ridge Boys, who are celebrating their 40th year of recording and touring and will appear at this year’s Missouri State Fair. He’s the infamous “Omm Pa Pa Mau Mau” in the hit “Elvira.”

See…told ya you would remember.

Two years ago, I attended a radio convention in Nashville, and one of the added features was a chance to visit all four of the Oaks in a suite at a downtown Nashville hotel. You’d think that after 40 years of the business, they would simply be tired. Worn out and too tired to talk to a bunch of radio guys, but I’m telling you, it was hard to get away from them! After all of the picture taking, recording interviews, etc., I had to excuse myself to go down the hall to the “little DJ’s room.” I was considerate, I thought, to not ruin the mood by using the actual hotel suite’s bathroom. Evidently, Mr. Sterban ha the same idea!

I made myself comfortable in a stall, and began to get down to the business at hand. I hear some of those infamous bodily noises from the stall next to me, a shuffle of feet, then a booming “So how are you enjoying the convention?”  He might as well have been singing “Bobbie Sue,” the voice was so recognizable, and I’d just done a ten minute interview with him! From the sound of things, the calamari and lasagna they served us wasn’t agreeing with him.The more noise he made, the more I tried to stifle a laugh (I’m still a kid like that) and in turn the more noises I made myself. It wasn’t pretty, trust me, on either of our parts.

I tried to hold a general conversation in the uncomfortable environment we were in, did my duty, and washed up and left before him. Returning to the suite about five minutes later, he casually walked in the room, came up beside me, and whispered in my ear “Sorry about that…hope you weren’t still recording.”

Not sure if he recognized my voice, my shoes or what, but it was definitely a funny end to what turned out to be a funny situation.

So, Happy Birthday Richard!  Looking forward to seeing you in Sedalia, and hopefully lasagna and calamari won’t be on the backstage catering menu.

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