Rembering Joe Bonsall: Longtime Tenor of The Oak Ridge Boys

Joe Bonsall

by Steve Young

July 9, 2024

Joe Bonsall, the charismatic tenor of the Oak Ridge Boys, has passed away at the age of 76. Earlier this year, he had announced his retirement from touring due to his ongoing battle with ALS. He died on Tuesday, July 9, from complications of this illness.
Joe’s legacy with the Oak Ridge Boys spanned 50 remarkable years. He was a key member of this celebrated country and gospel group, whose contributions earned them memberships in the Grand Ole Opry, The Phillidelphia Music Hall of Fame, The Gospel Music Hall of Fame, The Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame!
In a world filled with Alabama, Restless Heart, and Southern Pacific, there were the Oak Ridge Boys, led by Joe’s smooth tenor voice. His energy on stage was infectious, bringing life to some of the group’s biggest hits like “American Made,” “Bobbie Sue.” The first time I heard Joe sing from childhood was on “Elvira”! Fans will always remember him for his curly hair, long mustache, and the boundless enthusiasm he displayed on stage.
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