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Bio

A Piece Of History

A Piece of History
Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring four decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.

“When I go on stage, I get the same feeling I had the first time I sang with The Oak Ridge Boys,” says lead singer Duane Allen. “This is the only job I've ever wanted to have.”

“Like everyone else in the group,” adds bass singer extraordinaire, Richard Sterban, “I was a fan of the Oaks before I became a member. I’m still a fan of the group today. Being in The Oak Ridge Boys is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”

The two, along with tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden, comprise one of Country's truly legendary acts. Their string of hits includes the Country-Pop chart-topper Elvira, as well as Bobbie Sue, Dream On, Thank God For Kids, American Made, I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, Fancy Free, Gonna Take A Lot Of River and many others. In 2009, they covered a White Stripes song, receiving accolades from Rock reviewers. In 2011, they rerecorded a thirtieth anniversary version of Elvira for a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store project.

The group has scored 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album—plus one double platinum single—and had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits.

Gospel Music Roots
The Oaks represent a tradition that extends back to World War II. The original group, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, began performing Country and Gospel music in nearby Oak Ridge where the atomic bomb was being developed. They called themselves the Oak Ridge Quartet, and they began regular Grand Ole Opry appearances in the fall of ‘45. In the mid-fifties, they were featured in Time magazine as one of the top drawing Gospel groups in the nation.

By the late ‘60s, with more than 30 members having come and gone, they had a lineup that included Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Noel Fox, and Willie Wynn. Among the Oaks’ many acquaintances in the Gospel field were Bonsall, a streetwise Philadelphia kid who embraced Gospel music; and Sterban, who was singing in quartets and holding down a job as a men’s clothing salesman. Both admired the distinctive, highly popular Oaks.

“They were the most innovative quartet in Gospel music,” says Bonsall. “They performed Gospel with a Rock approach, had a full band, wore bell-bottom pants and grew their hair long...things unheard of at the time.”

The four became friends, and when the Oaks needed a bass and tenor in ‘72 and ’73, respectively, Sterban and Bonsall got the calls. For a while, the group remained at the pinnacle of the Gospel music circuit. It was there they refined the strengths that would soon make them an across-the-board attraction.

“We did a lot of package shows,” says Bonsall. “There was an incredible amount of competition. You had to blow people away to sell records and get invited back.”

Their Gospel sound had a distinct Pop edge to it and, although it made for excitement and crowd appeal, it also ruffled purist feathers and left promoters unsure about the Oaks’ direction. Then in 1975, the Oaks were asked to open a number of dates for Roy Clark. Clark’s manager, Jim Halsey, was impressed by their abilities.

“He came backstage and told us we were three-and-a-half minutes (meaning one hit record) away from being a major act,” says Bonsall. “He said we had one of the most dynamic stage shows he’d ever seen but that we had to start singing Country songs.”

They took his advice and the result was a breakthrough.

“Those who came to Country music with or after the New Traditionalists of the mid-eighties cannot possibly imagine the impact the Oaks had in 1977, when they lit up the sky from horizon to horizon with Y’All Come Back Saloon,” wrote Billboard’s Ed Morris. He added, “...the vocal intensity the group brought to it instantly enriched and enlivened the perilously staid Country format. These guys were exciting.”

The Oaks branch out
Their career has spanned not only decades, but also formats. In 1977, Paul Simon tapped the Oaks to sing backup for his hit Slip Slidin’ Away, and they went on to record with George Jones, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bill Monroe, Ray Charles and even Shooter Jennings, the son of their old friend Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. Most recently, the group recorded a duet with Merle Haggard for their 2015 Rock of Ages hymns and Gospel favorites album.

They produced one of the first Country music videos. In 1977, Easy, although not released in the U.S., reached the Number Three slot in Australia. They participated in the first American popular music headline tour in the USSR.

The Oak Ridge Boys have appeared before five presidents. And they have become one of the most enduringly successful touring groups anywhere, still performing some 150 dates each year at major theaters, fairs, and festivals across the U.S. and Canada.

They did it with a consistently upbeat musical approach and terrific business savvy.

“We always look for songs that have lasting value and that are uplifting,” says Allen, who co-produced many of the Oaks’ recent studio albums. “You don’t hear us singing ‘cheating’ or ‘drinking’ songs, but ‘loving’ songs, because we think that will last. We also don‘t put music in categories, except for ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ When we get through with it, it’s probably going to sound like an Oak Ridge Boys song no matter what it is.”

They proved their business acumen in any number of ways, including such steps as declining the chance to sit on the couch during their many appearances on the Tonight Show.

“We said, ‘If you‘re going to give us four minutes on the couch with Johnny, we’d rather have four minutes to give you another song that lets people know what got us here,’” says Allen. “We didn’t get here talking; we got here singing.”

They also proved themselves to be capable and tireless advocates of charitable and civic causes, serving as spokesmen and/or board members of fundraisers for the Boy Scouts of America, the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse (now, Prevent Child Abuse America), Feed The Children, the National Anthem Project and many more.

The group’s first personnel change in many years occurred in 1987 when Steve Sanders, who had been playing guitar in the Oaks Band, replaced William Lee as the baritone singer. Late in ‘95, Steve resigned from the Oaks and exactly one minute after midnight on New Year’s Eve, Duane, Joe and Richard surprised a packed house at the Holiday Star Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana, by welcoming William Lee on stage and back into the group. The hit makers were finally together again!

The Oaks’ high-energy stage show remains the heart and soul of what they do, and they refine it several times a year, striving to keep it fresh well into the future.

“We‘re not willing to rest on our laurels,” Golden says. “That gets boring. As a group, we do things constantly to challenge ourselves, to try to do something different or better than the last time we did it.”

“I feel like I can do what I do on stage just as good now as I could 20 years ago,” says Bonsall. “I plan to be rockin’ my tail off out there as long as I’m healthy. The people who come out, who bring their families to see us, deserve everything I’ve got.”

“We’ve experienced a lot of longevity,” adds Sterban. “I think the reason is the love we have for what we do—the desire, the longing to actually get up there and do it. We love to sing together...to harmonize together. It’s what our lives are all about.”

“Back” to the future
In 2009, the group recorded a CD, The Boys Are Back, with 34-year-old, Pop-Rock producer Dave Cobb. Cobb encouraged them to stretch musically.

“Seven Nation Army was Dave’s first idea out of the shoot. He said he envisioned us singing where The White Stripes and Jack White do the instrumental parts. It turned out incredibly well,” Bonsall says. “The project is diverse and includes an old spiritual from the Smithsonian archives, God’s Gonna Ease Your Troublin’ Mind, as well as a new Jamey Johnson-penned, soon-to-be-classic called Mama’s Table.”

The Oaks’ new music attracted the attention of a younger audience, while reminding dedicated fans that their favorite group is ever-evolving. “When we throw those songs at the audience, it's fun to watch their reaction. The cool thing is they're loving it.” Bonsall says. “We don't give it any introduction; we just go straight into each song. We did Seven Nation Army in Minnesota a few weeks ago and got a standing ovation. The younger kids in the audience were freaking out.”

Duane Allen, who is Executive Producer for the project, adds, “We went to California to get a Rock and Roll producer who brought us back home to the very roots of our music, which is Gospel mixed with Country, Blues, and Rock and Roll.”

Golden describes the new project as a “musical journey.”

Sterban agrees. “I think David took us down some roads we might not have traveled on our own. The music may be different but he did not try to change us, he challenged us.”

Many have labeled the Oaks’ path as one similar to what Johnny Cash traveled with producer Rick Rubin. The Oak Ridge Boys find that analogy appropriate, almost sentimental, because Cash was one of their earliest supporters and a longtime friend.

“Back when we were struggling in the early 1970’s, Johnny Cash encouraged us. He booked us on his show in Las Vegas, and he paid us too much money. But his belief in us was the most important thing. He sat us down and told us, ‘Boys, you think it’s rough right now, but there’s magic in the four of you. I can feel that magic. I know there is magic there. Don’t break up.’”

And the rest is history.

It’s Only Natural
In 2011, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store asked The Oak Ridge Boys to record an album with a blend of previously recorded and brand new songs. The result was It’s Only Natural, a twelve-track CD with seven rerecorded hits, including the group’s multi-platinum, Country-Pop hit Elvira, and five new songs.

Veteran Oaks’ producer Ron Chancey returned to the studio with the group to produce Elvira and two new songs, and the team of Duane Allen and Michael Sykes reunited to produce the remaining nine. The album debuted on September 19, a month after the Oaks were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

While the combination of Oak Ridge Boys and Cracker Barrel is “only natural,” the Oaks stretched—yet again—and invited YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill to join them on what would become a viral music video for their first single from the project. What’cha Gonna Do? was released to country radio in November 2011 and received widespread acceptance on national grass roots and Music Row charts.

In early 2014—forty-one years after Duane, Joe, Richard, and William Lee first stepped onstage together as a group—they celebrated 41 million, RIAA-certified records sold by signing a new record deal with Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records. Their first release from Cleopatra, Boys Night Out, is a 14-song live project, which was released April 15, 2014. It’s the first live country hits recording ever to be released by The Oak Ridge Boys as they continue to make history.

Duane Allen

A native of Taylortown, Texas, Duane (“Ace”) Allen had formal training in both operatic and quartet singing before becoming a member of the Oaks in 1966. He is a member of the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has written a book on the history of Gospel music. He also holds an honorary doctorate from a Christian college.

Duane graduated from Paris Junior College, and then Texas A&M University at Commerce, Texas. He received a B.S. in Music from Texas A&M, studying with Metropolitan Opera stars Richard Webb and William Abbott. For his classical music degree, Duane concentrated on voice, piano, and composition. He has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both Paris Junior College and Texas A&M. He and his wife Norah Lee underwrite a scholarship fund for Texas A&M University Department of Music students.

During the time he studied at Paris Junior College, two operettas were written based on Duane’s life—one entitled “College Go Round” and the other entitled “Let’s See Paree (Paris).” He received a music scholarship to Texas A&M, and while he was a student there he starred in a lead role of “Annie Get Your Gun.” He also sang in an elite chorale group, which toured through the United States, as well as internationally.

In 2014, Duane received a special honor from his hometown community of Cunningham, Texas. On April 15, Lamar County officials dedicated the Duane Allen Memorial Bridge on the newly designated Duane Allen Road. The bridge crosses the Big Sandy Creek just a few hundred yards from where Duane was born and raised on the Allen family farm. While in Lamar County for the event, Duane and Norah Lee presented a check to the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial in Paris, Texas. Proceeds were used to support the memorial and to honor family members who had served in the military.

On August 9, 2014, Duane was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony that included fellow members of The Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban as honorary inductees. An Oak Ridge Boys’ exhibit at the Hall of Fame was unveiled the same day.

Back in Hendersonville, Tennessee, where Duane and his family have lived for more than 40 years, he enjoys spending time on his 72-acre farm, which has been the home to a menagerie of animals, from beef cattle to horses, burros, and Canada geese.

A superb businessman, he is credited with keeping the Oaks on firm financial footing during their switch from Gospel to Country in the late 1970s. He also loves to find new music for the group. Since the new millennium, he has taken on the role of co-producer and executive producer. He co-produced, with Michael Sykes, eight of the group’s Spring Hill/Gaither Music albums and nine tracks on the 2011 It’s Only Natural album for Cracker Barrel. He is the executive producer of The Boys Are Back CD (produced by David Cobb) and the Back Home Again CD (produced by Ben Isaacs), as well as co-producer, along with Ben Isaacs, of the Oaks’ 2012 Christmas Time’s A-Coming album and Rock of Ages, the group's 2015 hymns and gospel favorites project for Gaither Music. Duane also produced the Oaks’ first live “Country hits” album, Boys Night Out, which released from Cleopatra Records in April 2014.

To relax and stay in physical shape, he walks 20-30 miles each week and works out with a personal trainer. He is also an avid basketball fan and enjoys shooting hoops whenever he gets the chance. Duane is an antique car buff. He has more than two-dozen classics in a collection that is housed in a museum he calls Ace On Wheels.

“It’s a great way to relax,” he says of the restoration process. “I get a lot of pleasure out of going down there and sanding and painting with no real sense of urgency.”

Duane and his wife, Norah Lee, raised two children, Jamie and Dee, and now enjoy spending time with their two grandsons, March and Kell, and two granddaughters, Texas LeeAnna and Tallant. Duane’s children, as well as his grandchildren, are also gifted in music.

Joe Bonsall

Joe’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, background shows through clearly in his love of the Philadelphia Phillies. According to him, “I live and die with the Phillies, no matter where they are. 1993 was great for me; one of the highlights was going home to Philadelphia and taking my parents to two World Series games. That was so cool.”

Now a Nashvillian for almost four decades, Joe is also a Tennessee Titans football fan. He and his wife Mary attend Titans’ games whenever he is in town.

Joe is an avid writer and songwriter. He became a published children’s book author in 1997 with The Molly Books, a four-book series published by Ideal’s Children’s Books. In 2003, New Leaf Press published G. I. Joe and Lillie: Remembering a Life of Love and Loyalty, an inspirational biography Joe penned about his parents. His song by the same name was included on the Oaks’ Colors album, released the same year. A music video of the song reemerged in the summer of 2009 and became a YouTube phenomenon with more than five million views. His new book, On the Road with The Oak Ridge Boys, will release from Harvest House Publishers in May 2015.

Joe also wrote the title song to the Oaks’ The Journey album, as well as the text for the Oaks’ coffee table book, An American Journey. New Leaf also published his Christmas story, An Inconvenient Christmas. In September 2010, Journey Press, a division of Sheaf House, released his latest hardbound book, From My Perspective, a collection of commentaries, stories and other writings. Christmas Miracles, a collection of short stories and commentaries, originally published in 2008, was updated in 2012.

For relaxation, Joe retreats to his farm on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line and can often be found on his John Deere tractor mowing part of his 350-acres—or sitting on his front porch and playing his banjo, an instrument he has played for almost eleven years! He plays a step-out lead on the Oaks’ new Rock of Ages CD.

Joe joined the Oaks in 1973. As with the other group members, much of his time is spent on the road performing, but Joe has found his own way to get the maximum possible enjoyment out of touring.

“My life is really pretty simple,” says the Oak who is the principal spokesman on stage. “I go out there and try to sing the best I can and give them physically and mentally every single thing I’ve got. When it’s done, I go back to my room, call home, eat my pizza or sushi, get on my Apple laptop, watch the sports scores and say to myself, ‘Hey, I’ve done what I’m supposed to be doin’ and I feel great about it.’”

Joe has two daughters, Jennifer and Sabrina, and two grandchildren, Breanne and Luke. He and Mary also have seven cats, Sunny, Sally Ann, Ted, Baybe’, Blackie, Crockett, and Mitty.

Joe’s personal web address is www.josephsbonsall.com.

William Lee Golden

For the first time in a long time, William Lee Golden has a spring in his step. Coming out of a tumultuous period in his life, the iconic baritone vocalist has found the love of his life in his new girlfriend, Simone. He’s also comfortable with his place in the world as part of the iconic Oak Ridge Boys, who are celebrating their 42nd Anniversary together in 2015, while Golden’s celebrating his 50th anniversary since joining with the iconic group.

Doo-wop, Pop, Country

A farmer’s son, Golden spent the early years of his life in rural south Alabama surrounded by music. As he grew up, he started singing at the age of seven and began performing regularly on his grandfather’s weekly radio show along with his sister, Lanette. It was there that his love of harmony came alive and by his teenage years Golden grew to appreciate the Country, Gospel, Doo-Wop, and Pop quartets, and sure enough, it wasn’t long before he was joining up with The Oak Ridge Boys.

Nobody back home in Brewton, Alabama could’ve imagined back then all that Golden would accomplish with The Oak Ridge Boys since joining the band in 1965. While on a break from the quartet, Golden released several solo recordings to considerable success.

But for as much success as he has had as a recording artist, Golden’s no one-dimensional act. He’s found considerable success with his paintings and he’s finding even more success with a new visual medium, photography, where he often focuses on landscape portraits and scenes. Many of his favorite shots can be found on Golden’s personal Facebook page.

Family has long held a special meaning to Golden. In addition to his newly found love with girlfriend, Simone, Golden has four sons in Rusty, Chris, Craig and Solomon. Golden also his six grandchildren and two great-¬grandchildren.

For further information about William Lee Golden, please visit his website at www.williamleegolden.com.

Richard Sterban

Richard began his singing career as a six-year-old soprano in Sunday school in his native Camden, New Jersey. He was a tenor in the glee club in seventh grade, but when he returned for eighth grade in the fall, he was a bass!

He loved sports and music, decided he had more talent for the latter, and developed a simple goal: “I wanted to be in the best vocal group in the world.”

Prior to joining The Oak Ridge Boys in 1972, Richard sang with various groups, eventually joining J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, which afforded him the opportunity of a lifetime—the chance to sing with Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll, singing with him every night on stage, recording with him, and appearing in one of his movies (Elvis on Tour). It was during this time in the midst of Elvis’ heyday that Richard was offered the position as bass singer for The Oak Ridge Boys, and he had to make a major decision—remain on the big stage or chase his own dream. This period of Richard’s life is covered in detail in his book, From Elvis to Elvira, co-written with Steven Robinson. The book includes many great Elvis stories and stories about The Oak Ridge Boys that have never been told.

Baseball has also been a longtime passion for Richard. For many years, as a part owner of the Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee Brewers AAA club), he attended spring training and took bus trips with the team. He now serves as the team’s “official ambassador,” attends games when he is in town during the season, and often does color commentary. A long-time fan of the Vanderbilt Commodores, he also does color commentary for the school’s baseball team.

Richard’s well-tailored clothing reveals one of his other loves.

“When I was singing part-time and working in a clothing store,” he recalls, “I developed a real interest in fashion, and it’s something that has carried through.”

He also enjoys fine restaurants, collecting wine, and traveling—particularly to the seashore, where he likes sailing and snorkeling. A fitness buff, he has a bicycle at home and keeps another stowed in a bay under the tour bus. He even has a case so he can check a bicycle aboard airplanes. Because of his longstanding interest in weather (he enjoys watching the Weather Channel!), a few years ago Richard recorded public service announcements for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio network, which is the “voice” of the National Weather Service. Richard is also the “voice” for the Classic Country channel on Sirius Satellite Radio.

He and his wife, Donna, have two daughters living at home, Lauren and Tori. He also has three older sons, Rich, Doug, and Chris, as well as five grandchildren.

Richard’s personal website is located at www.richardsterban.com.

The "Mighty" Oaks Band

Jeff Douglas (guitar and dobro) Jeff Douglas was born and raised in Kentucky, spending most of his early years in the small town of Paris. An only child, his dad worked for the Post Office and his mom worked for the local school system. While attending the University of Kentucky, Jeff began working at a music store repairing and building guitars. It was in the local music scene that he met longtime friend, Paul Martin (Duane Allen’s son-in-law). Through this friendship he met the Oaks. In 1995, Jeff moved to the Nashville area to take a job as the Oaks’ Band Tech. He was later promoted to Stage Manager. Jeff has played the guitar since he was sixteen and in 1999, when the Oaks needed a bit of extra “fill” in the show, he began playing three or four songs on rhythm guitar. He initially played offstage while also attending to his production work. In 2004, after the Oaks released their bluegrass-flavored The Journey CD, Jeff bought a dobro and learned to play it so he could contribute to additional songs on the show. In his spare time Jeff enjoys woodworking, tennis, photography, and recording.

Ron Fairchild (keyboards)  Born in 1958 and raised in Music City, Ron has an “Oak Ridge” heritage. His father, Tommy, played piano for The Oak Ridge Boys from 1957 until 1972! Ron has a 20+ year personal history with the group. With his knack for playing any instrument you can put in front of him and an uncanny technical mind, Ron has literally built his musical career piece by piece. He engineered the digital keyboard system he plays on stage and has built his own recording studio—one which is often used when the Oaks’ record. When not on the road or overseeing his studio, Ron enjoys sailing, learning to fly airplanes, and playing with his HAM radio and computers. He also loves watching hockey games.

Roger Eaton (lead guitar)  Roger has toured with some of the biggest names in country music, including Barbara Mandrell, Lorrie Morgan, Joe Diffie, and Tanya Tucker. He is also a substitute guitarist in the Grand Ole Opry staff band, a session player, and a producer. He joined the “Mighty” Oaks Band in 2014.

David Northrup (drums/percussion) Central New York native, David Northrup has been on the Nashville music scene since 1995. The talented drummer and percussionist has extensive touring experience, matched by a long list of recording credits and work he has done with a multitude of artists in various genres, from rock legend John Waite, the James Brown Horns, John Mellencamp, and guitarist Les Dudek, to jam band sensation the Disco Biscuits. David has also worked with an array of country artists, including Wynonna Judd, Travis Tritt, Joe Diffie, Doug Stone, Tanya Tucker, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Lila McCann, Jo De Messina, Jo-El Sonnier, Pam Tillis, Ty Herndon, Lee Greenwood, Louise Mandrell, Connie Smith, Gene Watson, Deborah Allen, and Anthony Smith. When not touring or recording, David also produces and works as an international clinician. For two consecutive years, he placed in the prestigious Modern Drummer Readers Poll, voted #3 Country Drummer and #2 Clinician of the year in 2008 and #2 Country Drummer and #2 Clinician in 2009. 

 His television and video appearances include the Tonight Show, the Today Show, the Jimmy Kimmel Show, the CMA Awards, the ACM Awards, CMT’s Flameworthy Video Awards, the 2005 Jammy Awards, GAC Grand Ole Opry Live, PBS Concert Special SoundStage, Farm Aid 2000, and many more.

Scotty Simpson (bass guitar) Scotty Simpson was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He began playing guitar at age eleven and within a few years had formed a band with his older brother, Steve. It quickly became apparent there was a problem; everyone wanted to play lead so there was no bass player. Scotty decided to give bass a shot, and the love affair began. He spent every waking hour sitting in front of the stereo, moving a record needle back again and again, until he learned every lick on every album he had. By the time he was fourteen he was playing in clubs. Luckily, his brother, who was ten years older, made for the perfect guardian, so Scotty’s parents allowed him to do so. A week after he got out of high school he took off on the road with a traveling club band—and never stopped. He moved to Nashville in 1996 and within a few months landed gigs with Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis, and finally settled in with Travis Tritt for about thirteen years. Scotty says he’s thrilled to be facing new musical challenges and to work with legends like the Oaks.

Rex Wiseman (fiddle, pedal steel, mandolin, guitar) Rex Wiseman joined The Oaks Band in 2006. Born and raised in Birdseye, Indiana, Rex grew up in a musical family. His father, four brothers, and sister were “back porch” pickers, playing mostly for their own enjoyment. Rex, who was the youngest, learned to play the mandolin at age five. Eventually he taught himself to play fiddle, guitar, pedal steel, electric bass, dobro, banjo, and mandolin. At the ripe old age of 11, Rex became a “professional,” earning money by playing in a local country band with his brother. When he was 16, he put together his own band. Then in 1980, he moved to Nashville to work with Little David Wilkins. He subsequently worked with John Conlee, Bill Anderson, Rhonda Vincent, Billy Yates, Phillip Claypool, and Clay Walker. Rex’s early dream was for a solo record deal. His timing was less than perfect, however, because contemporary country was in vogue in the early eighties, and he played and sang traditional style. He finally gave up on solo aspirations in May 1985, two months before Randy Travis became an “overnight” sensation! Timing is everything! Rex has persevered through the turns his life has taken. Losing his mom at an early age, he learned the value of family and the importance of every moment. He has two daughters, Mary Jo and Kady, as well as three granddaughters. Rex, his wife Kim, and daughter Kady live in the Nashville area. In addition to music, another one of Rex’s lifelong passions has been horses and horse training.