Elvira (song)

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"Elvira"
Single by The Oak Ridge Boys
from the album Fancy Free
Released March 1981 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1981
Genre Country
Length 2:39 (single edit)
3:45 (album version)
Label MCA
Writer(s) Dallas Frazier
Producer(s) Ron Chancey
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
The Oak Ridge Boys singles chronology
"Beautiful You"
(1980)
"Elvira"
(1981)
"(I'm Settin') Fancy Free"
(1981)

"Elvira" is a song written by Dallas Frazier which became a famous country and pop hit by The Oak Ridge Boys. A Number One hit on the Billboard country music charts, The Oak Ridge Boys' version is considered one of their signature songs.

Song history[edit]

Songwriter Dallas Frazier penned "Elvira" in 1966 and included it as the title track of an album he released that year. A number of recording artists, most notably Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, recorded the song through the years, to varying degrees of success.[1] Frazier's own version peaked at #72 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.[2]

In 1978, alternative country recording artist Rodney Crowell recorded his cover of "Elvira" (with "Ashes by Now" on the b-side)[3] which became a very minor hit that year. However, Crowell's version did have its fans — most notably The Oak Ridge Boys. In 1980, when the band began planning for their upcoming album Fancy Free, they decided to cover the song as well.[1]

Released in March 1981 with Joe Bonsall on lead vocals,[4] "Elvira" quickly climbed the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart, and became their fourth No. 1 hit that Memorial Day weekend. Their rendition — which included bass singer Richard Sterban's deep-voiced vocal solo on the chorus ("giddy up ba-oom papa oom papa mow mow")[5] — would also become their biggest pop hit, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 that August.

"Elvira" was certified platinum for sales of 2 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America, a distinction that, for years, it shared only with "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

Single and album edits[edit]

The single version fades out after the first key change, more than a minute earlier than the album version (which features two more key changes and "oom pa-pa mow mow" choruses).

Chart performance[edit]

Dallas Frazier[edit]

Chart (1966) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 72
Canadian RPM Top Singles 27

Rodney Crowell[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 95

The Oak Ridge Boys[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[6] 87
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 26
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 13
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 8

References[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944-2005," 2006.
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006," 2007.
Preceded by
"Seven Year Ache"
by Rosanne Cash
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

May 30, 1981
Succeeded by
"Friends"
by Razzy Bailey
Preceded by
"Pride"
by Janie Fricke
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

June 20, 1981
Succeeded by
"Blessed Are the Believers"
by Anne Murray