Wednesday, July 10, 2024

R.I.P.: Joe Bonsall, Oak Ridge Boy Succumbs To ALS

Joe Bonsall, the tenor in The Oak Ridge Boys, died on Tuesday (July 9) from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the group announced on its website and social media accounts. He was 76, and died in Hendersonville, Tenn. Bonsall had announced his retirement from touring at the beginning of the year.

In 1973, Bonsall left his position with gospel group The Keystones to join The Oak Ridge Boys. The Oaks, in which Bonsall teamed with Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban, first found success as a gospel group. They segued into country music in 1977 with “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” their first of 34 top 10 hits on Billboard’s Top Country Songs chart.

Billboard reports The Oaks landed 17 No. 1 hits on that chart, the third-highest total among duos and groups after Alabama (33) and Brooks & Dunn (20). Two of the Oaks’ country chart-toppers became top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 – “Elvira” (No. 5 in 1981) and “Bobbie Sue” (No. 12 in 1982).

The group landed three No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, two of which became top 20 albums on the all-genre Billboard 200 – Fancy Free (No. 14 in 1981) and Bobbie Sue (No. 20 in 1982).

The Oaks won five Grammys. The first four were in gospel categories; the fifth in country, for “Elvira.” That platinum-selling smash won best country performance by a duo or group with vocal.

The Oaks won two CMA awards – vocal group of the year in 1978 and single of the year in 1981 for “Elvira.”

They won four ACM Awards – top vocal group in 1978, album of the year that same year for Ya’ll Come Back Saloon, single record of the year in 1981 for “Elvira” and the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award in 2007. 

No comments:

Post a Comment