The Oak Ridge Boys performs “An American Family” Spring House Music Group 2012.

The song it reached number # 4 on the charts of US Hot Country Songs, and a total of 25 weeks remained on the charts. On the charts of Canada Country Tracks, it reached number # 32.

YouTube TheOakRidgeBoysVEVO Channel
YouTube TheOakRidgeBoysVEVO Channel

An American Family:

Album cover Oak Ridge Boys ( MCA 1989 )
Album cover Oak Ridge Boys ( MCA 1989 )

An American Family, a song written by Bob Corbin, was recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys for the MCA label, was recorded in May 1989, at Emerald Sound Studio, Nashville, TN, The Oak Ridge Boys was accompanied at the recording session by : Billy Joe Walker (guitar), Reggie Young (guitar), Leland Sklar (bass), Paul Leim (drums and percussion), Wade Benson Landry (fiddle), Matt Rollings (piano), Shane Keister and Mike Lawler (synthesizer) and Dewey Dorough (sax). With the Jimmy Bowen production, the song was released on August 7, 1989. On November 4, it reached number # 4 on the charts of US Hot Country Songs, and a total of 25 weeks remained on the charts. On the charts of Canada Country Tracks, it reached number # 32.

Album cover Oak Ridge Boys ( Spring Hill 2003 )
Album cover Oak Ridge Boys ( Spring Hill 2003 )

The song was included in the studio album The Oak Ridge Boys, American Dreams (MCA 1989), the album was released on August 30, 1989, reaching # 24 on the charts of the US Top Country Albums, on October 28 of 1989, keeping a total of 30 weeks on the charts. The album was released in the formats: LP, cassette and CD.
The Oak Ridge Boys re-recorded the song for their patriotic album “Colors” in 2003. This version included a new bridge and chorus at the end of the song that referred to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The 2003 version It was recorded with William Lee Golden, while Steve Sanders sang baritone in the original version.

About the song:

The song describes a typical American family, and notes that they are not a big problem and “will not go down in history,” but they are only part of “a little story of an American family.” The first verse of the song describes a husband, who worked in a railroad yard and is about to retire, and his beloved wife. The second verse tells how the wife waited for her husband while he fought in World War II and how his son fought in the Vietnam War. He also describes two other children, a son who is a lawyer in Los Angeles and a daughter who married and stayed in his hometown.

The Oak Ridge Boys – An American Family Lyrics

Worked all his life in the rail yards
Summer heat winter cold
He sits by the fire,
This year he’ll retire
He don’t really feel all that old.
She comes in from the kitchen
And sits on the arm of his chair
He looks up and says “hey lady I love you”
Runs his fingers through her hair.

There’s a picture on the wall of Jesus in the garden
It’s been there since they got the house in ’53,
It ain’t no big deal, won’t ever go down in history
It’s just a little story of an American family.

She waited for him in World War 11
He fought the European campaign,
Their son John spent two years in “Nam
That war it wasn’t the same.
Billy’s out in L.A., he’s a lawyer now
They worry he’s so far away,
Jeannie got married, she lives here in town
They’re comin’ over with the kids today.

There’s a picture on the wall of Jesus in the garden
It’s been there since they got the house in ’53,
It ain’t no big deal, won’t ever go down in history
It’s just a little story of an American family.
It’s just a little story of an American family.

Single Oak Ridge Boys ( MCA 1989 )
Single Oak Ridge Boys ( MCA 1989 )

Miquel Batlle
djmiquel@whenthecowboysings.org