The Oak Ridge Boys

So given the Spring Hill implosion, the chances of the Oak Ridge Boys looking for (or needing) a new label seem pretty high. It would be unfortunate for the Oaks to wind up with a full blown country label: in the first place, it’s clear that despite the official distance that southern gospel puts between itself and the Oaks, ordinary gospel music fans feel a great deal of connection with da boys; and second, the Oaks’ sound owes a great deal to its sg inflections and roots. So which gospel music labels are in a position to go a courtin’ for the Oaks? I’m genuinely asking, but while I wait for your answer, Canaan jumps out as the leading contender. With their corporate connections to Word Music, Canaan has the money and infrastructure it’d take to pull off this kind of deal. Of course the Oaks might be most inclined to go wherever their main contacts at Spring Hill land, but that might just make for a good recruiting opportunity for a savvy record company out there.

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  1. Trent wrote:

    With Daywind toying with the idea of trying to cross some of their artists over to country radio, how about taking a mostly country group who used to be gospel and crossing them back over to gospel? Interesting concept.

  2. DM wrote:

    The old guys in the Oaks are friends with some of the old guys in The Florida Boys and other old guys. Sometimes I’ve heard Bill on the phone talking to Lester. Oh, who is Lester?.

  3. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    The key will be a label with great distribution to both mainstream and CBA, plus they’ll need enough money to pay Michael Sykes to keep doing what he’s been doing for the Oaks.

    If they do end up leaving Spring Hill, my vote goes to Curb.

    Canaan might possibly be a great fit, but we really don’t know what Canaan is capable of doing yet.

    Curb, on the other hand, has a tremendous track record with a roster ranging from Leann Rimes to Selah. It’s a huge roster, to be sure, but nearly every name is one you will recognize if you’ve followed Country and Gospel music. Signing with a label like Curb would be the ideal deal for the Oaks.

    Of course, being the only fish for Spring Hill to push might be even better…sort of like _Jerry Maguire_. Can’t you just see Joe Bonsall jumping up and down yelling “Show me the money?” :o)

  4. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    You ask “who is Lester?”

    You’re obviously not familiar with the illustrious Cadillac Cowboys, and their band leader, Lester “Roadhog” Moran.


  5. KB wrote:

    Last I’ve heard, Spring Hill is moving forward, and the Oaks are moving forward with them. Duane Allen mentioned that all of their contractual obligations to Spring Hill have been met up to this point, so they are not required to stay there. However, he indicates that the new staff coming in has them as a priority, and perhaps they plan on rebuilding the label with them as their flagship artist.

    In the event that the Oaks and Spring Hill part ways, Duane also mentioned that there are four or five other labels that are willing to sign them (although, he understandably didn’t name them). Spring Hill is distributed by Word, so moving to another Word label would make sense (with Canaan, for example), but I’m sure that if given the opportunity, they’d take a major country label if they could get it over a smaller gospel label.

    As of now, up in the air!!!

  6. Daniel Britt wrote:

    Maybe this is slightly off topic, but doesn’t Daywind also use Word for distribution?

  7. tim wrote:

    DBM - you are right on the money with Curb. It would be a great fit. Definately keep working with Michael Sykes.

  8. Charles Brady wrote:

    Daywind owns a company called New Day Christian Distributors that handles their distribution. ( They also distribute Word products & Crossroads products & several other companies products as a onestop for stores.) 95% of all product we sell at we can get through New Day. They are a class act and do a great job. (Now watch my order today get messed up now that I said that! LOL!! )

  9. thom wrote:

    but - Daywind also has product being distributed by Word - such as the Austins Bridge CD. Some sort of mutual deal I suppose.

  10. JP wrote:

    New Day carries EVERYTHING that Daywind puts out - including their full line of Soundtracks (3,300 and counting) Karaoke line and specialty items like “16 Great Southern Gospel Classics” whereas WORD represents 10-20 of the Artist Projects that Daywind releases every year.
    Win - win for Daywind, they get road representation for their artists through WORD and New Day provides phone representation to almost every Christian Bookstore in the country, whether chain or “Mom and Pop”
    thom - thanks for the plug for Austins Bridge - good guys with a good sound - was that your weather photograph on Foxnews Nashville a couple of weeks ago?

  11. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    JP got it right. Being on the Daywind label doesn’t guarantee distribution by Word, but signing to Canaan would guarantee distribution by Word.

    My line of reasoning is that they need a label that has a foot in each market. Curb seems like the perfect fit to me.

  12. DM wrote:

    Has anyone ever seen the returns department of a gospel music distribution center? They can send the product out, but that does not mean anyone will buy the product. Sometimes you think that it multplied out there. Not one, but many skids.

  13. thom wrote:

    Yes JP, it was some of my photography on Fox.

    DM- wonder how much a copy those returned CD’s would sell for - $2 each? I think most Daywind artists pay $5 per copy, don’t they? Whattya think?

  14. Jim2 wrote:

    I’m pretty sure Charles has the egg before the chicken or the cart before the horse. New Day was in business in 1981, or 6 years before Daywind Music Group was formed. If my information is correct, the first Daywind soundtracks came out in 1985, but the record label wasn’t started until ‘87 or ‘88.
    Back to the thread - Spring Hill seemed to be going in the direction of PW music for a while there, but several of the projects bombed, especially the “Echoes around the World” series. I think the Carl Cartee project was one of the better ones they did - hope he finds a good label home - though more and more artists are finding the independent route can be pretty profitable, at least in the short run. Any word on where any of the bigwigs from Spring Hill will end up?

  15. quartet-man wrote:

    Here’s a story, ’bout a man named Brady
    who had a store called twenty four dot com.
    They carried many products
    great ones and ones that bombed. :-)

  16. quartet-man wrote:


    Here’s a story ‘ bout a man named Brady
    who even had products by one, Jeff Stice.
    You could own so many products if you would pay the price.

    Till the one day when the site became successful
    And they knew it was much more than dumb luck
    That this group would somehow find some bargains
    That’s the way we all did save ourselves some bucks.,,

    That’s the way we all found


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