Duane Allen (April 29, 1943 - )
Duane "Ace" Allen was born in Taylortown, Texas to Fred and Loretta Allen. He has had a long and successful career in both Southern Gospel and Country Music. He attended Paris Junior College and Texas A&M University-Commerce, ultimately earning a B.S. degree in music from the latter. In 1965, he began his career as a professional singer at the baritone position with the Prophets replacing group founder Ed Hill. The following year, believing he was about to be drafted into military service, Allen resigned his position with the Prophets in 1966. The Prophets promptly brought Ed Hill back before Allen learned he was not being drafted after all. Allen joined the Oak Ridge Boys as their lead singer that same year, and has been with them ever since.
In 1971, Allen co-authored a book titled The History Of Gospel Music that included a section of random essays and an extensive biographical section. Allen also co-authored a popular stage play titled "The Three Nails." The play was released as an album on the Heart Warming label (HWS3113) with J D Sumner and Dottie Rambo featured in the leading roles.
Allen is also a songwriter. He penned I'll Follow The Sun, which was recorded by the Downings, and It Won't Be Long, which was recorded by the Happy Goodmans, the Hinsons, and the Kingsmen Quartet.
Singing News Fan Awards:
Favorite Lead Singer (1971, 1972)
Favorite Male Singer (1973)
Duane Allen Bridge and Duane Allen Road in Cunningham, Texas (dedicated in 2014)
Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame (inducted in 2014 as a member of the Oak Ridge Boys)