You just can’t help but like the Oak Ridge Boys. Still going strong after how many years? Decades. It’s nothing short of amazing to keep personnel that consistent for so long a time.

It wasn’t always easy going though, they had a big fallout in ’87 and kicked out the baritone, William Lee Golden. Their rhythm guitarist, Steve Sanders, stepped in and sang baritone until ’95. To the Boys’ credit, they patched things up and got Golden back on board. I’d sure like to know all the details behind that story.

Sanders was having a lot of personal problems. He actually gave notice he was quitting, but then walked out mere hours before a show. They called in Duane Allen’s son Lee to fill in, which he did for a short time until Golden came back (source). Sanders committed suicide a few years later.

Other than that period, they’ve had the same personnel since about ’73.

And who would have ever guessed that at one time Joe Bonsall had more hair than William Lee Golden!

When I was a kid, we had an Oaks record that I absolutely loved. It’s probably the first music that I remember really liking. Because of my obsession with it, and the fact that an authority figure really did not like that particular record, one day it sadly disappeared!

It was the ’69 Dove Awards Album of the Year “It’s Happening.” I loved that album. I’d like to get it again someday, it’s not on eBay right now.

From the Heart” is a gospel album they made in ’01 that I wish I had. They did another mainstream country project in ’06, “Front Row Seats.” Check out their video from it called Hard to be Cool (in a Minivan), it’s great! I loved it. (Very large file)

One thing I find interesting about the song is the fact that it appears tenor Joe Bonsall has the lead for the whole song. And when the harmony parts join in on the chorus, he doesn’t move to the top of the stack, evidently Duane sings tenor above him. I’m certainly no expert on the Oak’s music, but I didn’t know they ever did that.