Mockumentary The Ride featuring Rowe has made its way into the annual Oak Ridge Boys annual Christmas concert. The event takes place in Chattanooga, Tennessee over the holiday weekend and as a result of Rowe’s breakout 2016 memoir The Ride: Stories From a Thrift Store to Success was shot this weekend, and will be released on DVD and Amazon on 1 August.
During the concert – featuring The Oak Ridge Boys, Mike Rowe and Kix Brooks – Rowe begins a song titled Christmas and its Grace, a take on the traditional carol The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire). The song recounts the duo’s father’s secret struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction and includes the lyrics: “Jesus couldn’t stop that drunken obsession from stealing a song.”
Even with a singer as “cheery and goofy as Michael”, it was not without controversy. “This year, we got into trouble,” the Oak Ridge Boys told Variety. “Mike Rowe brought up his book The Ride, which is about how he found a pretty sharp way to make a lot of money and use it for the wrong reasons. We just thought it was a bit inappropriate for our environment. The Oak Ridge Boys don’t really talk about anybody’s business.”
The Oak Ridge Boys sit atop the American country music charts in the top spot for country, Americana and bluegrass music and are known as the most prolific country vocal group of all time.
Rowe previously starred in the PBS series Rowe. But for many The Ride proved to be a surprise hit and a highlight of Rowe’s career, if not career. The program featured an introduction to Rowe’s adoption story, his goal to use his life experiences for good and his aversion to millennials.
“Tuning out millennials isn’t cool, but in some ways it’s the most important thing I ever did,” Rowe told the Guardian earlier this year.
The Oak Ridge Boys are under contract to perform at the Cape May Fair & Jersey Shore Casino Hotel from 11-14 December 2018.