A dream come true for one local band - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

A dream come true for one local band


For these four men, a chance to sing on this stage has been a dream for almost 30 years.

"I was getting texts early this morning, today's the day."

The group, Living River, started its singing career at Wausau West High School. Their inspiration, the popular gospel quartet, The Oakridge Boys.

"We watched them sing at Austin City Limits and ever since that day we were hooked on The Oakridge Boys," Living River band member Perry deJong said.

As teenagers the cappella group got their first big break after winning an "Oakridge Boys Sound-A-Like" contest and getting to meet their idols at a state fair.

"Getting a chance to hang out with them and meet them, that was really awesome," Living River band member Jeff Gut said.

And 28-years later they got another chance to share the stage with the band that brought them together.

"It is pretty exciting to be able to be here in our hometown and perform in front of the community that has supported us," deJong said.

But, these aren't the Oakridge Boys' only fans. Thousands packed the pavilion at the Wisconsin Valley Fair to see the group perform.

"We have a lot of fans in Wisconsin," Oakridge Boys band member Richard Sterban said. "Good memories of Wausau and this fair."

And although decades have passed, they still remember the boys who sounded just like them.

"It's the biggest honor to have someone say we inspire them, that they went into this business because of us,"Sterban said.

And now 28-years later those boys have become men.

"They are great, good singers."

Words Living River has been waiting almost three decades to hear.

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