William Lee Golden Credits the Pandemic With Creating ‘Golden Classics’

The Oak Ridge Boys have been making music together for decades, but William Lee Golden isn’t ready to retire, at all. In fact, the 84-year-old is also now making music as part of William Lee Golden and The Goldens, a family band with him and his three sons. The group released Golden Classics last year, 34 songs that were created and recorded thanks to Golden’s time off of the road due to COVID-19.

“During the pandemic, I had to turn off all of the negative hate on television news … I watched about three weeks of this stuff, saying, ‘What the hell is going on here?'” Golden recalls on RC’s Social Saloon. “I had to turn all of the hate off, because I felt like it was invading my soul, and my spirit. So we started singing old songs, getting the family together. And during that pandemic, I got my sons together, and our band, our family band. We recorded 34 old songs that we found were healing to us, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritual healing.”

Golden not only recorded Golden Classics, but he also wrote an autobiography, Behind the Beard, and recorded another project with The Oak Ridge Boys as well.

“Then I recorded an album with The Oak Ridge Boys that Dave Cobb produced, called Front Porch Singin’,” Golden shares. “Then I did the autobiography. So it’s amazing what you can do when you turn off negative hate on television news, and apply yourself in a positive direction.”

Golden had for years dreamed of making a record with his talented songs, but wasn’t sure his busy schedule with The Oak Ridge Boys would ever allow him the time. Fortunately, the pandemic gave him the unexpected gift of a free calendar, which is how Golden Classics came to be.

“I had a vision to do this two years before the pandemic, but I could never get my sons together,” Golden admits. “They all had solo careers going. I was doing 150 dates with The Oak Ridge Boys on the road. So the pandemic was the only time that we were all sequestered and sent home, and told, ‘Go home. You’re unessential. Lock your doors and put on two maks, and if anybody knocks on your door, crawl under the bed.’ I can’t live in this kind of world. So I said, ‘The hell with that.’ I turned it all off and that’s where it all started for me, is getting out of the house, away from the TV, and getting under the trees in the backyard and back patio.”

Once The Goldens started working on Golden Classics, the Alabama native began hoping for enough time to see the project through to completion before The Oak Ridge Boys went back out on the road again.

“I could not wait,” Golden says. “I was so obsessed with getting this done, when I started recording. I was afraid the pandemic was going to end before we got all the songs I wanted to record. But thankfully we did get the 34 songs cut, and now and then we still like to cut some more. So hopefully this year we’ll be able to sing two or three more.”

Find all of The Oak Ridge Boys’ music and upcoming shows at OakRidgeBoys.com. William Lee Golden and The Goldens’ music and tour dates can be found by visiting their website.