Joe Bonsall, Oak Ridge Boys singer, has passed

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Special Hen Supporter
Jan 20, 2013
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Dang! I remember first hearing the Oak Ridge Boys when I was in High School, about a million years ago. I saw them in concert a few times, most recently a couple of years ago at the Sugar Creek Casino.​

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Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys country music mainstay, dead at 76​

Bonsall performed with the band for more than 50 years.

Joe Bonsall, longtime member of the legendary country music singing quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, died Tuesday from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He was 76.

"Joe loved to sing," read a statement on Bonsall's official website, announcing his passing. "He loved to read. 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."

On January 3, 2024, Bonsall, born Joseph S. Bonsall Jr., announced his retirement from The Oak Ridge Boys ongoing Farewell Tour due to increasing health issues and immobility.

"Many of you know I have been battling a slow onset (over 4 years now) of a neuromuscular disorder. I am now to a point that walking is impossible so I have basically retired from the road. It has just gotten too difficult," Joe shared in a statement on the social platform X.

"It has been a great 50 years and I am thankful to all the Oak Ridge Boys band crew and staff for the constant love and support shown to me through it all," he continued. "I will never forget and for those of you who have been constantly holding me up in prayer I thank you and ask for you to keep on praying."

Bonsall joined The Oak Ridge Boys in 1973, singing tenor. The group's five-decade-plus career produced over 30 top-five country hits, nearly half of which were chart-toppers, including "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight," "Bobbie Sue," "American Made," and their signature song, 1981's RIAA-certified double-platinum hit "Elvira."

The group, also comprised of Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban, won five Grammy Awards and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Bonsall is survived by his wife, two daughters, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.



Special Hen
May 6, 2007
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