The last time the country/gospel quartet Oak Ridge Boys performed in the Tri-Cities was three years ago, riding high on the success of their 2009 album release.
And though new music is always exciting, what music fans really love about the Oak Ridge Boys is their annual Christmas show, which they've been performing for more than two decades.
"The best part of our Christmas show is that it gives our fans a chance to know us better," Richard Sterban told the Herald in a recent phone interview. "It's a great family show."
Sterban has the most recognizable voice in the quartet. He sings bass and jokes that if he didn't have such a deep voice he might have to actually work for a living.
"This is our 24th year touring with our Christmas show," he said. "The first half of the show we play our regular music, including hits like Elvira and some new stuff too."
The second half of the Christmas show, however, will be very different, he said.
"It's the best part of the show, featuring sacred and secular music -- all with the true meaning of Christmas behind it," Sterban said. "It'll also be romantic, fun and Santa will be there and be intermingling with the kids in the audience. It's also the part of the show when we sit in our rocking chairs and talk about our childhood memories of Christmas."
Sterban, William Lee Golden, Duane Allen and Joe Bonsall make up the Oak Ridge Boys. They've been singing together for four decades.
"It's hard to believe we're celebrating 40 years together," Sterban said. "We really love what we do, though. And we've been lucky that our fans still like us so we can continue performing. The music business keeps getting bigger and better, especially for the younger musicians, but we're still going strong, and that says something."
Sterban recently published a memoir about his early years as a backup singer with Elvis Presley.
"For years people have asked me what it was like to perform with Elvis," he said. "So I just decided why not write a book about those years and take it all the way to the present."
The book, published last year by Richards and Southern, Inc., is called, From Elvis to Elvira: My Life on Stage, co-written by Steven Robinson.
"I certainly don't pretend to be a writer," Sterban joked. "Steven, however, is very much a writer."
Sterban performed with Elvis for about three years before he got a call from the guys who made up the soon-to-be-called Oak Ridge Boys.
"I've never regretted my decision to join the Oak Ridge Boys," he said. "It was the right thing to do."
The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Windermere Theatre at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Tickets are from $43.85 to $63.85, plus service charges at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets purchased at the coliseum box office avoid service charges.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal