The Fourth Day of Mellowmas: The Great Oak Ridge Massacre of 2012

Jeff: Ho, ho, ho, old pal! Merry goddamn Mellowmas!

Jason: Oh crap. This again? How many days left? Please say zero.

Jeff: 40, I think.

Jason: Christ on a pogo stick.

Jeff: Oh, we’ll hear plenty about Him later. Today is something special. Jason, remember the Oak Ridge Boys?


Jeff: Well! Let me tell you something about the Oak Ridge Boys. Fun fact: The Oak Ridge Boys have released at least five Christmas albums.

Jason: How much do I have to pay you to tell me nothing about the Oak Ridge Boys?

Jeff: Nothing, because that’s all I know about the Oak Ridge Boys. Oh, except for one more thing: We’re listening to them today.

Jason: I know “Elvira,” obviously. I know that they covered “Seven Nation Army,” awkwardly.

Jeff: What?

Jason: …you didn’t know that?

Jeff: No. Gross. All I know is that Tony the Tiger is in the band, and that their fans apparently love Christmas music a lot. Do the Oak Ridge Boys have their own aisle in Cracker Barrel stores?

Anyway! The Oak Ridge Boys have a brand new Christmas album out this year. It’s called Christmas Time’s A-Coming.

Jason: Is this like some James Taylor/Michael McDonald/Anne Murray bullshit where 98% of the songs were released on other Christmas albums? Although I guess to know the answer to that question, we’d have to listen to the others, and that’s probably unwise.

Jeff: Don’t know! Don’t care! I can tell you, though, that it’s part of the “Gaither Gospel Series.”

Jason: That series used to be about the music. Now, it’s all about pussy.

Jeff: Gospel pussy!

Jason: Great band name!

Jeff: I can’t wait to hear Gospel Pussy’s version of “Seven Nation Army.”

Jason: So I’m looking at this album cover. It’s a little small on my screen, but here’s who I see, left to right: Kenny Rogers, Father Time, Geddy Lee, and a guy with Bell’s Palsy.

Jeff: shaking with laughter

Jason: I hope they sound better than they look.

Jeff: I think you know better than to get your hopes up for that. I picked today’s song because it’s called “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Jason: gasp a Mariah Carey cover?

Jeff: I was hoping for a Cracker Barrel-y gospel beard Mariah Carey cover! But no. It’s something better.

Jason: Is it a cover of the obscure John Waite number “All I Want for Christmas Is You”? That was on a compilation we covered about seven years ago. WHY DO I REMEMBER THAT?

Jeff: I don’t know, but I think today’s track will flush it right out. Ready to hear what the Oak Ridge Boys want for Christmas in 2012?

Oak Ridge Boys, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (download)

Jason: Oh hey.

Jeff: So tasteful.

Jason: That’s pretty.

Jeff: Mournful.

Jason: This is beautiful!

Jeff: Like a frosted windowpane on Christmas mor…oh, there he is.

Jason: WHAT?

Jeff: Hearing this with headphones makes it so much creepier.

Jason: Please let this be the Father Time guy. He sounds like Father Time.

Jeff: I’m imagining him singing it while standing in line at the grocery store behind some woman he’s never met.

Second verse, he’s singing it while following her out to her car.

“Let me wrap you up and take you home.”

“All I want for Christmas is you.”

Also, one of his hands is a hook.

Jason: How much money do you have in your wallet? If we take what you have, and what I have, I bet we could hire this guy to sing to our wives in the middle of the night.

Jeff: With my luck, I’d forget and wet the bed when I heard him in my room.

Jason: The harmonies are oddly spaced. It sounds kind of like a Muppet chorus.

Jeff: A horrifying, pervy Muppet chorus!

Jason: This guy’s highest note is too low for me to sing.

Jeff: Third verse, he’s singing to the woman and she’s in a cage.

Jason: And he’s wearing grown-up footie pajamas.

Jeff: That last note rattled my uvula.

Jason: Well, that chilling tune is over.

Jeff: Who would play that for someone they love? Or like, even?

Jason: What’s really strange about it is that the instrumental track is just beautiful. I’d listen to that at any point during the year.

Jeff: Absolutely. And it isn’t a badly written song, either. It’s just that they had Father Time sing it, and it sounds like he wants the lotion in the basket.

Jason: I’m imagining other appropriate song titles for this guy.

“I Hold the Key (To Your Apartment).”

Jeff: “Please Hold Still, I Don’t Want to Hurt You.”

Jason: “I Swallowed a Bullfrog.”

Jeff: “Surprise (I’m in Your Back Seat).”

I actually find myself wishing I knew a little more about these guys, so I’d know how many chances he gets to sing a lead vocal. I’d like to make a mix CD out of all of them.

Jason: “Tell Me About the Rabbits, George.”

Jeff: YES. And I’d play the CD whenever the Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking on my door.

Jason: “I listen to this every day.”

Jeff: “You want to tell me about the gospel of our Lord and Savior? Sure, come on in. I was just listening to some music.” I’d stare really intently at them while they spoke and this dude sang.

Jason: Dammit, now I want to hear this guy cover Mariah Carey.

Jeff: Now I want to hear him cover Mariah Carey too. I was just thinking about him singing “Vision of Love.”

Jason: I also want to hear Mariah Carey sing “Surprise (I’m in Your Back Seat).”

Jeff: Imagine their combined might during a duet! Are there actually that many octaves?

Jason: Jeff, I think there’s another song we need to play.

Jeff: What are you doing? Stay out of there.

Jason: “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Jeff.

Jeff: “My beard was white as snow”?

Jason: You’re never going to guess what the lamb’s name was.

Jeff: Tell me it was Jesus.


Jeff: That settles it!

Oak Ridge Boys, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (download)

Jason: Another beautiful opening!

Jeff: Ah, there’s a tasteful arrangement. Why can’t someone else sing this shit? And write different lyrics? And why did this guy track his vocals from across the room?


Jeff: sigh


Jeff: Oh my goodness.

Jason: Muppet chorus! With the newest member of the Muppets: Vibrato!

Jeff: That guy with the low voice sounds like a busy signal on the harmonies! Jason, what’s with the Celtic arrangement?


Jeff: Is this about Jesus Christ, or Jesus O’Brien? I swear, I can feel that guy’s voice in my taint every time he sings.

Jason: He sounds a little Meat Loaf-y, doesn’t he?

Jeff: This is horrible. Do Christian people really enjoy being pandered to like this?

Jason: Given that this is the second consecutive song on the album with “Mary” in the title, I’m guessing they know their market.

Jeff: Thank Lamb that’s over.

Jason: Yes! I like where you’re going.

Lamb Christ!

Lamb, Mary and Joseph!

Jeff: With mint jelly! Yum.

Jason: Lamb Almighty!

Jeff: I see there’s another track called “Getting Ready for a Baby,” and I’m pretty sure I know what that’s all about.

Jason: That one’s a co-write between me and your wife.

Jeff: Oh, and “Peterbilt Sleigh.” Awesome.

Jason: I think I’m done. Two songs is enough.

Jeff: Yeah? No more Oak Ridge Boys for you?

Jason: I’m afraid “Glorious Impossible” actually contains the brown note.

Jeff: I’m going to call the nearest Cracker Barrel and find out if they have lamb on the menu. Meet you there for dinner?

Jason: Giddy-up-a-oom-papa-oom-papa shoot me!

  • Jake

    I’ve *genuinely* never heard a voice as low as that…. Incredible!

  • EightE1

    It’s actually the Geddy Lee-lookin’ dude who has the uvula-rattling basso profundo (which is Latin for “too much testosterone”).

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    Why do you know this thing, Rob? You know too many things.

  • EightE1

    Well, I don’t know his name. That, I don’t know. Father Time, I know — he’s William Lee Golden. He left the band for a number of years. Actually, there have been approximately 300,000 members of the Oak Ridge Boys; they were formed as a gospel quartet in the 40s. None of the current members — not even Father Time himself — was in the band then.

    Ah, the gloriously trivial results of a youth spent incarcerated in Christian school …

  • http://www.facebook.com/kingofgrief Jeffrey Thames

    Oh, don’t be so hard on Rob. At least he didn’t link you to the guy’s Wikipedia entry.


    Geddy-up a-oom papa [citation needed]

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    “Sterban ultimately became famous for his ‘oom-pa-pa-oom-pa-pa-mau-mau’ bass solo in the Oak Ridge Boys’ 1981 smash hit, ‘Elvira,’ in which he performs a G2-C2 drop in the second chorus.

    Some of his other low notes include a C#2 in ‘Jesus Is Coming Soon’
    and his lowest recorded note, Eb1, in ‘I’m Working On A Building.'”

  • EightE1

    Oh, and one more thing … you want a pervy Oak Ridge Boys song? No? Well listen to this anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuRydrcRWlc

  • Dharms

    Just Another reason to run as far away from country music….as fast as you can!!

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/terjepost Terje Fjelde

    Thank you. Now I can totally hear him bantering, Skeletons of Quinto/Mighty WInd style here: https://twitter.com/BBluebird1/status/275830907313717249/photo/1 Yes, they’re on one of my Twitter lists.

  • http://sportsmyriad.com Beau

    But they’ve had the same lineup since 1973, apart from Golden’s time off. Their personnel changes all came about during their wild-and-crazy days on the fringes of jazz along with Gene Krupa and … oh, I’m sorry … their GOSPEL days.

    Honestly, their band history on Wikipedia sounds like the R.E.M. song on Dead Letter Office in which Stipe sings the liner notes of a gospel record to the backing track of 7 Chinese Brothers.

  • David_E

    “Kenny Rogers, Father Time, Geddy Lee, and a guy with Bell’s Palsy.” FOR. THE. WIN.

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    That line still makes me laugh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kingofgrief Jeffrey Thames

    I shared today’s entry on Facebook and promptly got a bunch (okay, two) of responses about how awesome it was that they covered “Seven Nation Army” and why hadn’t they heard of it before etc., thus missing the point of the share. Damn you, Jimmy Page Jr. Quit distracting my friends.

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    I refuse to believe “My heart’s on fire-a for Elvira” is doctrinally sound.

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    The brown note?

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    Proof positive the south shalln’t rise again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kingofgrief Jeffrey Thames

    The original title was “I’m Working on an Outhouse” until label pressure intervened,

  • Eric S.

    I read the description before I saw the picture, prepared myself with a mental image, and was still so taken aback when I scrolled dawn that there was an audible gasp (followed quickly by uncontrolled laughter).

  • http://sonicweapons.net Thierry

    Be kind to Ol’Basso – I’m pretty sure it’s actually the Swedish Chef reading lyrics in English phonetically.

  • http://www.jasonhare.com jasonhare

    It’s the one halfway funny thing I’ve said all season. Jeff has all the brains and wit.

  • JonCummings

    I lost it entirely at “Surprise (I’m in Your Back Seat),” to the point where my wife had to ask me if I could breathe. I was thinking it sounds like he’s singing to poor Alexis Lee from Day One.

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    Nonsense! I’m nothing without you, baby.

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito


  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    Perfect description, Beau. I love it.

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    For the record, I’m never clicking on that link.