Arts & Entertainment

They’ll sing at President Bush’s memorial — then hop on a plane for the Tri-Cities

The Oak Ridge Boys with former President George H.W. Bush.
The Oak Ridge Boys with former President George H.W. Bush. Courtesy of The Oak Ridge Boys

The Oak Ridge Boys still will perform in Kennewick on Thursday night, even though they’ll be singing that morning at President George H.W. Bush’s memorial service in Houston.

While they’ll log thousands of miles on a plane in a 24-hour period to make it happen, they wouldn’t have it any other way. The former president wanted the group — his favorite — to sing “Amazing Grace” at his funeral, according to The Tennessean newspaper.

“It’s what you do for friends,” lead singer Duane Allen told the paper.

The Kennewick concert is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Toyota Center.

After their concert in Spokane, the country legends will catch a flight to Houston on Wednesday night and then hop on a plane again after the funeral to make the Kennewick show.

They had a long relationship with President Bush, who died last week at age 94.

They sang for him numerous times, including at his inauguration.

The former president was honored at a state funeral Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The Houston memorial is Thursday morning, and will be followed by a private ceremony and burial at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.

“President Bush means so much to us,” band member Richard Sterban told The Tennessean. “George Bush requested before he passed away that we sing ‘Amazing Grace,’ his favorite song, at his funeral. There’s no way we wouldn’t do it. He always taught us to do the right thing, and it is a tremendous honor. One final time here on this earth, we’re going to sing it for him and we believe in our hearts we’ll see him again one day and we’ll sing it for him again.”

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529,