William Lee Golden (born January 12, 1939), a native of Brewton, Alabama, is an American country music singer. Between 1965 and 1987, and again since December 1995, he has been the baritone singer in the country vocal group The Oak Ridge Boys.
|William Lee Golden|
Golden in 2013
|Birth name||William Lee Golden|
|Born||January 12, 1939|
|Years active||1965–1987 1995-present|
|Associated acts||The Oak Ridge Boys|
Golden joined The Oak Ridge Boys (then a Southern gospel music group) in 1965. Golden is widely known for his waist-length beard and hair, and has become one of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment industry. Golden was voted out of The Oak Ridge Boys in 1987, as the other three members wanted to change the band's image. He was replaced by Steve Sanders, but stayed with MCA Records as a solo artist to record an album titled American Vagabond, which included two chart singles. In 1990, he moved to Mercury Records and released "Louisiana Red Dirt Highway".
Sanders left the group in 1995 and Golden returned on New Year's Eve of the same year.
Golden lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee with his wife Simone De Golden. He has four sons, a step-daughter and seven grandchildren. Golden's sons Rusty and Chris recorded as The Goldens for Epic Records and Capitol Records between 1988 and 1991. They also played in his road band during his solo career.
Golden's home is called The "Golden Era Plantation." Built in 1786, it is recognized as the oldest brick home in Sumner County, Tennessee. The Federal-style structure was built in 1786, then called "Pilot's Knob," on a military outpost by American Revolutionary War Captain James Franklin, the father of planter and slave trader Isaac Franklin (1789–1846). After the war, he was awarded a land grant to the property.
During the Civil War, the Plantation became a station camp for Confederate soldiers. In order to protect their valuable gold and silver from approaching Union soldiers, the occupants buried the metals in the ground surrounding the house. This gold was later discovered during renovation of the home in 1976.
The area has been struck twice by tornados; once in 1892 and again on April 6, 2006. Originally a two-story building, the second story was removed by the first tornado. Repairs were made leaving it as a single-story home. Following the second tornado, the home's architecture was restored, adding a second story.
|2000||My Life's Work||—||Audio Visual Arts III|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1986||"Love Is the Only Way Out"||53||58||American Vagabond|
|"You Can't Take It with You"||72||52|
|1990||"Keep Lookin' Up"||—||—||N/A|
|"Louisiana Red Dirt Highway"||—||—|
|1990||"Tomorrow's World"||Various artists||74||Single only|
|1990||"Keep Lookin' Up"|
|"Louisiana Red Dirt Highway"|