Oak Ridge Boys’ William Lee Golden on Family, Music and America: “I’m Grateful”

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When there is negativity in the world, well, crush it with positivity, harmony and creativity.

It’s the lasting life lesson, in essence, of Oak Ridge Boys’ William Lee Golden, as he and his four sons, The Goldens, prepare to release a new 3-volume set, “Golden Classics,” this month. -ci – on March 25 – with an album release party scheduled for March 17 in the coming week.

William Lee Golden is a member of the Grand Ole Opry as well as a member of the Country and Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The 3-volume set includes the new albums “Southern Accents”, as well as “Country Roads” and “Old Country Church”.

“I called my sons at home. I saw that we were facing a negative situation in life.”

He told Fox News Digital in an interview this week, “At the start of 2020, with the pandemic and everything, we saw there was so much negativity and hate and violence in the news. And I Had to turn that off and get out of the house and get under a tree here [in the Tennessee countryside] – and allow my mind to assess where I came from, where we were and where we wanted to go.”

William Lee Golden (centre, pictured with his four sons) spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of the release of the family’s new 3-volume project
(Michael Jenkins)

He said he and his sons have wanted to work together on a new project for some time.

“I had a vision to do this a year and a half before the pandemic hit,” said William Lee Golden. “And I told my sons about it. When the pandemic hit, about three or four weeks later, I called my sons at home. I saw that we were facing a negative situation in life, and I decided to take them back to my childhood, to the old songs that I started singing at the very beginning, with my sister and my little brother.”

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Golden continued, “I played an instrument when I was 7, 8, 9, 10, I played the guitar and my sister played the mandolin, and we all played old songs and sang them together – songs. country songs and gospel songs.”

"Southern Accents" is one of 3 volumes released this month by William Lee Golden and his sons, The Goldens.

“Southern Accents” is one of 3 volumes released this month by William Lee Golden and his sons, The Goldens.
(Michael Jenkins)

And so, he said, “my sons and I started recording them. I took them back to where I came from and started recreating some of those old songs that I used to sing when I was small.”

He added: “And then we moved forward, on some of the classic country songs that have been important to us in life – and we harmonized together.”

“The family came together. It was a healing process.”

So far this year, they’ve already had one single, “Come And Dine”, spend 7 weeks at No. 1 on the Positive Christian Country Charts.

The new three-volume set features 34 songs spanning multiple genres – songs that have meant a lot to William Lee Golden and his sons over the years.

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“The last two songs we did were Eagles songs,” Golden said, “‘Peaceful, Easy Feeling’ and ‘Take It Easy,’ which was kind of like the icing on the cake for us. We We’ve harmonized to these songs, and we’ve found it heals us — mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually — to be able to go back during a pandemic as a family and sing and harmonize together.”

He said he’s been living the Eagles’ song “Take It Easy” for 50 years now (it was released in 1972) – and “I had the opportunity to sing that song and have fun” and to do with his own sons.

The Scrapbook "country roads" is part of the new 3-volume father and son set, The Goldens.

The ‘Country Roads’ album is part of father and sons new 3-volume box set, The Goldens.
(Michael Jenkins)

Together he and his sons worked with others on vocal arrangements and harmonies – “and we decided to record what we were doing”.

“Found Healing in a Recording Studio”

So during the tough times of the pandemic, “the family came together,” he said. “It’s been 25 years since we really played together like this. And it’s been a healing process for us.”

He also noted that his sons’ mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and went through about a year of “suffering” as a result.

He said they got together “while she was still alive” and did some pre-recording work, and “it was a heartbreaking thing for everyone, my sons losing their mother. And we found healing in a recording studio,” he says, “returning to old songs.”

"old country church" — like the other two albums featured above, in this article — is part of the three-volume set by William Lee Golden and Sons due out in March. "We were together as a family," he said "harmonize and sing old songs that have inspired us throughout our lives."

“Old Country Church” – like the other two albums featured above, in this article – is part of the three-volume set by William Lee Golden and Sons which will be released in March. “We were together like family,” he said, “harmonizing and singing old songs that inspired us throughout our lives.”
(Michael Jenkins)

He said that even though his songs are songwriters, he wanted to “go back to old songs that have inspired me throughout my life in one way or another”. He said some of them were songs he had sung over the years, while others were songs he had never performed before.

One he sang that really stuck with him, he said, was Paul McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road.” “It’s one of the greatest songs of all time,” he said.

He said his son Rusty sang Bob Seger’s ‘Hollywood Nights’ – while his son Chris sang Tom Petty’s ‘Southern Accents’. “He also sang ‘Peaceful, Easy Feeling’ by the Eagles,” he said.

“We were at home, and we were told to stay there, stay home and put on two masks. Well…we started singing and we took our masks off.”

“So yes, we have been together as a family, harmonizing and singing old songs that have inspired us throughout our lives. It has brought us a feeling of healing,” he added, especially “for us all of which were considered “non-essential” during the pandemic. We were at home, and were told to stay there, stay home, and put on two masks.

Golden paused and then said, “Well, we got together and started singing — and we took off our masks.”

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“What we have is the result of old familiar songs, and we sang them as a family,” William Lee Golden also said. “We harmonized as a family. We created as a family.”

In total, Golden said, he made four albums during the pandemic. “I did one with The Oak Ridge Boys as well as the three albums” with his sons, he said – “plus I did my autobiography, something I’ve never done before. ” This book, “Behind the Beard”, came out in early 2021, just over a year ago. He created it with co-writer Scot England, he said.

In this image from March 5, 2018, Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys perform at the CMA Theater at the Country <a class=Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. “/>

In this image from March 5, 2018, Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys perform at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

All of this was done during the pandemic. “I had to get away from all the negativity and hate that was going on [at that time] and coming off the TV,” Golden said.

William Lee Golden also said, “I’ve never met Paul McCartney and I’ve always admired his songwriting talent, his singing and his accomplishments…I would love to meet him” someday, he said added, in response to a question from Fox News Digital about whether the two had ever met.

He added, “I wish I could tell him how much his songs have meant to me throughout my life.”

Country music: these are “songs about life”

They’re “songs about life,” Golden noted of country music. “It’s not just recently started,” of course, he said. “It’s about life and the different stages of life.”

“I have always loved America. I am grateful for this country and for all the people who live there.”

It has actually “expanded over the years”, he said. “You have people like Taylor Swift who have made huge contributions to it,” he said. “And Eric Church, a great singer and songwriter, and Carrie Underwood, an incredible singing talent, and Maren Morse – she has a wonderful voice. She reminds me of Janis Joplin, in terms of voice style, quality of voice,” he said.

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“There are a lot of great talents out there today,” he said. “I’m a fan of country music, rock and roll and good music, period.”

“I happen to love America”

Fox News Digital asked him what he thinks of America right now.

“I happen to love America,” he replied. “I’ve always loved America. I’m grateful for this country and all of its people. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world,” he added.

Another image of Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys as they perform at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on March 5, 2018 in Nashville.

Another image of Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys as they perform at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on March 5, 2018 in Nashville.
(Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“We never tire of traveling in America,” he said of the Oak Ridge Boys. “Most of the tours we’ve done in our career have been in America – North America, Canada as well.”

He also said, “We’ve been lucky over the years.”

Today, he says, “Country music is great music. Think of someone like Garth Brooks, singing in stadiums all over the world.”

‘Always music with us’

Golden said music is his life. “That’s what I do. I grew up on a farm in southern Alabama. My dad grew cotton and peanuts. And there was always music in our house… My family always fueled our passion and our love of music and our singing.”

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“I’m just grateful that God blessed me with a long career with The Oak Ridge Boys – and He blessed me with my family, with my sons, to be able to play and sing music. It’s been the most fulfilling for me, to be able to spend quality time with my family.”

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In the coming week, father and son are performing a concert in Nashville as part of a big launch party for their 3-volume project.