Joe Bonsall, of the legendary quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, is bidding adieu to his fellow bandmates, announcing in an emotional statement that he is stepping away from touring due to ongoing health concerns.
“Many of you know I have been battling a slow onset (over 4 years now) of a neuromuscular disorder,” the tenor wrote on X. “I am now to a point that walking is impossible so I have basically retired from the road. It has just gotten too difficult.”
The group is currently on their farewell tour, where Bonsall, 75, has been seen singing from atop a stool.
OAK RIDGE BOYS’ DUANE ALLEN RECALLS ‘LITTLE GRIEVANCES’ WITHIN THE BAND WHEN THEIR CAREERS WERE ‘EXPLODING’
Joe Bonsall, left, raises his hand to the crowd in Nashville, Tennessee, from his stool while performing alongside The Oak Ridge Boys. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
“It has been a great 50 years and I am thankful to all the Oak Ridge Boys band crew and staff for the constant love and support shown to me through it all,” he wrote. “I will never forget and for those of you who have been constantly holding me up in prayer I thank you and ask for you to keep on praying,” he added.
Joe Bonsall was pictured performing in 2022, atop a stool. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Bonsall quickly pivoted from his announcement, choosing to laud his replacement, musician Ben James.
“There is a young man named Ben James singing for me out there and he needs your love and encouragement … his sound is different than mine but he brings a ton of talent to the table! @oakridgeboys will finish the Farewell Tour without me but rest assured I am good with all of it! God’s Got It!!!”
The Oak Ridge Boys was originally founded in 1943. They are pictured here, performing in 1984. (Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
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James, a 27-year-old musician, first appeared alongside the boys in 2022 during a concert in West Virginia.
“Joe handed me the mic and said, ‘You’ve got the next verse,’ James remembered, per People magazine. “And I’m not sure I will ever get over that moment. ‘Elvira’ was always on repeat when I was growing up. It’s still one of those timeless songs that never grow old.”
The Oak Ridge Boys consisted of baritone William Lee Golden, tenor Joe Bonsall, bass Richard Sterban and Duane Allen, the lead vocalist. (Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
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The band, originally founded in 1943 as The Oak Ridge Quartet, has had many members over the years. The foursome that saw the most success consisted of baritone William Lee Golden, tenor Bonsall, bass Richard Sterban and Duane Allen, the lead vocalist, during their heyday in the 70s and 80s.
They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
A representative for the group did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment, although they have been reposting the news of Bonsall’s retirement to X.