The Oak Ridge Boys

Elvira

Song Review by

There's a reason why the Oak Ridge Boys' 1981 smash hit "Elvira" sounds like it's a throwback to the pre-Beatles days of rock & roll, when pop songs were flavored with doo wop-styled harmonies: it was written by Dallas Frazier, the man who penned such early rock & roll hits as the Hollywood Argyles' "Alley Oop," plus such country novelty hits as George Jones' "I'm a People." As a matter of fact, Frazier recorded the song in 1966 for his album, Elvira. Even then, the doo wop flourishes of the chorus seemed a little dated, since it had been a while since a song with a refrain as corny as "giddy-up-a-boom-bop-a-mow-mow" had been a smash hit. When the Oak Ridge Boys released it in 1981, however, such affectations were quaintly nostalgic, and audiences went crazy for it, making the record a platinum single and a crossover hit. Strangely enough, the Oak Ridge Boys found the song not on Dallas Frazier's 1966 album, but on Rodney Crowell's 1978 debut effort, Ain't Living Long Like This. He just barely scraped the charts with it that year, but it found the ears of the Oak Ridge Boys, who decided to play up the silly novelty side of the song for their hit. Their gambit worked -- they had a version that was breezy, friendly, and playful, which appealed to many different audiences, from children to nostalgic parents. It still was a slight song, but slight songs can be fun...and that's exactly what Frazier's "Elvira" is, in any of its incarnations.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Fancy Free 1981 MCA 3:45
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1984 MCA 3:40
MCA Records 30 Years of Hits (1958-1988) 1988
Various Artists
MCA 3:40
The Collection 1992 MCA 2:39
No Image 1992 MCA
Country Music Classics, Vol. 21 1980-1985 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:39
Trucker's Jukebox, Vol. 3 [Universal] 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 3:39
Country Kickers 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:40
Country Stars of Branson, MO 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 3:39
Greatest Country Classics, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:40
Only Country 1980-1984 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 3:40
80's Country: 1980-1982 1996
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 3:40
Class of Country: 1980-1984 1997
Various Artists
Hip-O
Country Favorites of the 80's 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:36
America's Country: Country Jukebox 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:45
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Double Barrel Country 1999 Madacy 2:39
Classic Country: 1980-1984 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:40
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Oak Ridge Boys 2000 MCA Nashville 2:41
History of Country Music: Country Hits from the '80s 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 3:44
A Year in Your Life: 1980's Country, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 2:40
The Very Best of Country Radio 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:44
Classic Country: The '80s 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:39
Classic Country Gold 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:39
Forever Hits Karaoke: Country Male Groups 2006
Karaoke
St. Clair / Forever Hits 2:48
#1 Country Hits of the 80s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:41
The Definitive Collection 2006 MCA Nashville 2:39
The Best of Classic Country: '80s 2006
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:41
True Country 2006
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
#1 Country Hits [2006 Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:41
The Greatest Country Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:39
Number 1's: Country 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:41
Gold 2007 MCA Nashville 2:39
A Gospel Journey 2009 Gaither Music Group
Icon 2010 MCA 2:39
Country's Got Heart: Lookin' for Love 2010
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:40
Country's Got Heart [Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:40
It’s Only Natural 2011
40th Anniversary 2013 Gaither Music Group 2:39
Boys Night Out 2014 Cleopatra 3:37
NOW That's What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years 2015
Various Artists
NOW! / UMG Recordings Inc. / Universal 2:39
20 #1's: Classic Country 2015
Various Artists
Umes / Universal 2:40