William Lee Golden
After more than two decades with the Oak Ridge Boys, baritone vocalist William Lee Golden was fired in 1986 when the other members wished to change the country band's image. He had joined the group in 1964, when the Oaks were a gospel/folk group, and he accompanied their rise through the country charts during the '70s. In 1985, Golden recorded the solo album American Vagabond for MCA with help from Booker T. Jones and Joe Walsh. Two singles, "Love Is the Only Way Out" and "You Can't Take It With You," appeared on the country charts, but then the Oak Ridge Boys let him go. He filed a 40 million dollar lawsuit, which was settled out of court, and then began to record with his sons Rusty and Chris. They moved to Mercury in 1990 and recorded the single "Louisiana Red Dirt Highway." Four years later, Golden released an album for North/South, a division of Atlantic. ~ John Bush
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