The Oak Ridge Boys’ William Lee Golden Mourns the Death of His Son Rusty Golden

Although finding himself no longer part of the band for some time, many know William Lee Golden as a member of The Oak Ridge Boys. Joining the band during the 1960s, Golden helped the group step into the spotlight. But like any band, the group went through some tough years as members decided to do away with Golden in order to change their image. He eventually returned years later and even gained entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with The Oak Ridge Boys. While enjoying his time on stage, Golden loved creating a family. But recently, he shared the heartbreaking news that his son, Rusty Golden, passed away at 65. 

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On July 1, while at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Rusty passed away according to his family. Although facing a difficult time and asking fans for privacy while processing the devastating news, Golden released a statement about his son, writing, “This is the hardest thing ever for a father to have to face. I love my family more than anything. Rusty was a great musician, a talented songwriter, and a wonderful son. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers for the days ahead. I love you, son.”

[RELATED: After 50 Years, Joe Bonsall Bids Farewell to The Oak Ridge Boys; Replacement Revealed]

Following The Same Path As William Lee Golden

Born in 1959, Rusty seemed to share his father’s love for music as he started playing the drums at 13 for bands like The Rambos. He even wrote his first song but adding music to one of his grandmother’s poems. That wasn’t all as he also toured with Larry Gatlin. Drawing inspiration from Elton John, Rusty went on to help form The Boys Band, which produced hit songs like “Runner” and “Don’t Stop Me Baby (I’m on Fire).”

With the news circulating of Rusty’s passing, singers like Charlie Daniels shared his sadness on Twitter. He posted, “The Daniels family is saddened to hear about the passing of “Rusty” Golden son of our friend William Lee Golden from The @oakridgeboys. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Golden family. Rest in peace, Rusty. – CD Jr., Chelsea and Hazel Daniels.”

Fans also took a moment to remember Rusty and to send their love for the Golden family with comments reading, “Especially difficult to lose a child, of any age.  It’s not the natural order.  Prayers for his family and all that loved  him.”

Golden death continues a difficult year for The Oak Ridge Boys, who have suffered numerous losses, including the death of Duane Allen’s wife Norah Lee Allen. Furthermore, Richard Sterban’s father-in-law passed away on Easter Sunday.

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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