Sad, Sad Day for Music

Joe Bonsall (left), from a video screen grab.
@FourWalls (63957)
United States
July 9, 2024 8:56pm CST
This has been a rough week for music. Of course, I’ll detail them in the monthly music obits list. But the death of Oak Ridge Boys tenor singer Joe Bonsall just couldn’t wait. For over fifty years Bonsall was the tenor singer for the Oak Ridge Boys, and the “newest” member of the “classic” lineup. (The other members joined in 1972 [Richard Sterban], 1966 [Duane Allen], and 1965 [William Lee Golden].) They made a very successful transition from southern gospel music to country music in the late 70s, and even made a major splash in pop with their hit “Elvira.” Last year, Bonsall was forced to retire from the road before the Oak Ridge Boys’ “farewell tour” wrapped up, due to a “neuromuscular disorder” that we discovered today was Lou Gehrig’s Disease (or ALS). He’s been replaced on the tour by former Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver tenor singer Ben James. Speaking of “rough,” this is the second death to hit the Oaks this month. Just last week, William Lee Golden’s son, Rusty, passed away at the age of 65. The Oaks are scheduled to appear one last time at the Kentucky State Fair in August. I saw them 15 times over the years, and they were always a treat. Joe Bonsall was 76. Here’s one of their hand-clapping hits, “You’re the One”:
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10 people like this
6 responses
@porwest (80616)
• United States
10 Jul
As boomers start passing, these annual lists will unfortunately become longer and longer.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (63957)
• United States
10 Jul
I got news of three deaths in music yesterday. Bonsall was the best-known name, but there was also a singer/songwriter I liked (Mark Germino) and Joe Egan, who co-wrote “Stuck in the Middle With You.”
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@FourWalls (63957)
• United States
11 Jul
@porwest — you may not have done it justice, but on the other hand, you won’t be arrested for destruction of property.
1 person likes this
@porwest (80616)
• United States
10 Jul
@FourWalls Ah. A Stealers Wheel song. Don't mind a little share of my own little rendition, but I swear I did it no justice.
https://soundcloud.com/porwest/jim-bauer-stuck-in-the-middle-cover
1 person likes this
@RasmaSandra (75975)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
10 Jul
That is sad news, I love the Oak Ridge Boys, My mom and I had a private joke between us about their song Elvira. Her name pronounced correctly in Latvian should be Elveera not that hard I. Well, after that song I always upped the volume and sang with them, Mom rolled her eyes and said That isn't my name no way..
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (63957)
• United States
11 Jul
I’m sure people with names close to “Elvira” either love or hate that song.
1 person likes this
@1creekgirl (41010)
• United States
10 Jul
They always had the most wonderful music.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (63957)
• United States
10 Jul
They did, and they were always a joy to see in concert!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (331047)
• Rockingham, Australia
10 Jul
This is a great song. Band members must really feel it when one of their number die.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (63957)
• United States
10 Jul
The Oaks have been through the wringer this year. Duane Allen’s wife passed away in March, too.
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@Deepizzaguy (97505)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
10 Jul
It is a shame that Joe Bonsall passed away passed away just recently.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (63957)
• United States
10 Jul
Indeed it was. Lots of fans and friends and fellow country singers mourning his passing.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (164806)
• United States
10 Jul
So many groups are losing members. Getting old sucks.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (63957)
• United States
10 Jul
That must have hit him quickly, because he was still performing with the Oaks last December.
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