Just How Low Can Richard Sterban From the Oak Ridge Boys Sing?
Richard Anthony Sterban, the unearthly voice responsible for the oom-pah-pah-mow-mows and rumbling "Yeeeeaaaahhhhhhhsssss" with the Oak Ridge Boys, can hit what seems like impossibly low notes. By now you've probably asked yourself, "just how low can that guy sing?"
The Oak Ridge Boys' 1981 hit and Grammy winning single for Best Vocal Performance by a Country Group or Duo, "Elvira," features Sterban doing a G2-C2 drop in the second chorus.
While Sterban's ability to hit low notes impresses audiences and critics alike, it is his ability to deliver those low notes with such clarity and precision that catches the attention of his peers. "Effectiveness in his low range was always something remarkable and noticeable." says Dennis Woodrich, producer, arranger, and voting member of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. "He is definitely one of the greatest. Definitely."
One of the lowest recorded notes hit by Sterban include a C#2 in "Jesus is Coming Soon." To put that in perspective, a "normal" Bass range would be from E2 to C4.
To date, the lowest note he has ever recorded is an Eb1 on the tune "I'm Working on a Building."
The Oak Ridge Boys make their way to the historic Avalon Theater in Grand Junction on February 22nd.
Here is a little bonus track from Sterban. Prior to joining the Oak Ridge Boys, Sterban toured with J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, backing the King himself, Elvis Presley.