Home Oak Ridge Boys Tenor passes at 76

Oak Ridge Boys Tenor passes at 76

 Joe Bonsall, longtime Tenor with the Oak Ridge Boys, passed away Tuesday. Joe was 76.  

Bonsall announced his retirement from the road earlier this year because of his ongoing battle with ALS.

“As a 50-year member of the American music group the Oak Ridge Boys, Joe was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and inducted into the Philadelphia Music Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame.”

With his smooth tenor, Bonsall was the guiding voice of some of the quartet’s biggest hits, including “American Made,” “Bobbie Sue,” and their signature “Elvira,” Number 193 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 200 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. Onstage, he was a blur of energy, excitedly jumping up and down, bounding over to the musicians playing behind the Oaks, and flashing a big smile. In the Eighties, Bonsall was instantly recognizable for his curly hair and long mustache.

“Joe loved to sing. He loved to read,” the Oaks’ statement continued. “He loved to write. He loved to play banjo. He loved working on the farm. And he loved the Philadelphia Phillies. But Jesus and his family always came first—and we will see him again on the Promised Day.”





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