The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall Retiring After Receiving Tough Diagnosis
Joe Bonsall has announced his retirement from The Oak Ridge Boys. He confirmed that he received a diagnosis that makes it hard for him to tour with the group and has decided to take a step back. During a recent show, the remaining members of the group which includes Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban, announced Bonsall’s replacement: Ben James.
Bonsall shared, “Many of you know I have been battling a slow onset (over four 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. 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. 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.”
The 75-year-old tenor singer has been with The Oak Ridge Boys since 1973. He added, “There is a young man named Ben James singing for me out there and he needs your love and encouragement … his sound is different than mine but he brings a ton of talent to the table. The Oak Ridge Boys will finish the Farewell Tour without me but rest assured I am good with all of it! God’s Got It!!”
James, a longtime fan of the group, was introduced to them back in 2022. He will join The Oak Ridge Boys on their current tour, which extends until September 2024. The tour celebrates the 50th anniversary of their first show together and is named after their hit song “American Made,” which was released in 1983.
Bonsall continued about the band and its legacy, “You could have never convinced that 25-year-old Joe Bonsall in 1973 that in 50 years the four of us would still be singing together and still loving every second of it. Our mantra has always been LET’S SING… it still is! We have had our share of challenges over all these decades, but we have always persevered as men who have each always cared about doing things right and God has blessed us for it.” The group added that they wanted to do the tour not only to celebrate 50 years but thank fans for their continued support.
Check out the remaining tour dates and get tickets.