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In 1957, Fowler sold the rights to the "Oak Ridge Quartet" name to group member Smitty Gatlin in exchange for forgiveness of a debt.
As a result of more personnel changes, the group lost its tenor, so they lowered their arrangements and had Gatlin sing tenor while the pianist, Tommy Fairchild, sang lead.
They recorded an album on the Checker Records label, one on Starday, and three on Skylite.
Jim Hammill (who later became a mainstay in the Kingsmen Quartet) was chosen to be his replacement.
They became popular in southern gospel during the 1950s.
Their name was officially changed to the Oak Ridge Boys in the early 1960s, and they remained a gospel group until the mid-1970s, when they changed their image and concentrated on country music.
In 1966, Gatlin left the group to become a minister of music and, on Golden's recommendation, Duane Allen, formerly of the Southernairs Quartet (and more recently baritone of the Prophets Quartet), was hired to replace him.
With Willie Wynn still singing tenor and Herman Harper as bass, the group made another album for Skylite, one for United Artists, and then began recording on the Heart Warming label.After Hammil's retirement from the group in 1964, Golden joined as baritone.