The Oak Ridge Boys
Written by Dave Loggins and J.D. Martin
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
August 31 – September 7, 1984
#1 (1 week)
October 6, 1984
The Oak Ridge Boys are one of the few artists to have their second greatest hits collection encompass more big hits than their first one did.
In fact, a pretty big hit was left off of Greatest Hits 2 – “Bobbie Sue” – to make room for two new songs and a key track from their Christmas album.
So “Everyday” has to stand out among established classics, which is already a tough hurdle to clear, and it makes things more difficult for itself by being so openly sentimental, making it an easy target for cynical critics.
As a card-carrying Gen Xer, there was a time I fit quite comfortably into that category. Those days are long gone. Now, I cling to any sign of humanity and empathy that I can find, and “Everyday” has that in spades.
Here’s why I think it works so well: the Oaks put all of the onus on themselves to be the source of light for everyone that they meet, operating from the assumption that the stranger deserves the benefit of our doubt. They aren’t preaching here. They’re teaching:
You know a smile never goes out of styleSo brighten up the one that you wear Let it shine and you just might find You’ll lighten up the load that you bear
They do some incredible things with their harmonies that shouldn’t go unnoted, even if I lack the technical terminology to capture it in words. I’ll just say that when they mix things up in the second half of the record and go for a softer sound, it’s remarkably effective.
They bring so much joy and sincerity to “Everyday” that for 4 minutes and 3 seconds, it’s easy to imagine that kindness and compassion could cure all that is ailing us today.
“Everyday” gets an A.
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