Who is Joe Bonsall?
If you are a fan of country and gospel music, you must have heard at least one song performed by the vocal quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, which was founded in the 1940s as the Oak Ridge Quartet. The members current of the group are Duane Allen, Richard Sterban, William Lee Golden, and Joe Bonsall about whom we are going to tell you some interesting facts in this article. He is a singer-songwriter who plays banjo, and an author of the four-part children’s book series, “Molly the Cat”.
Maybe some of you didn’t know, but he’s a big fan of social media platform Twitter, and Joe enjoys tweeting almost daily, with the army of his followers numbering over 50,000 certainly support. Besides the mentioned book, he’s an author of nine others – his latest, “On the Road with the Oak Ridge Boys”, was published on 1 May 2015.
Early life, family, and education
Joseph Sloan ‘Joe’ Bonsall Junior was born under the zodiac sign of Taurus, on 18 May 1948, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA; he holds American nationality and his ethnicity is White.
He was raised in Philadelphia by his parents Lillie and Joseph Sloan Bonsall Senior, alongside his younger sister Nancy Marie. Both of their parents died in 2001, and in 2003, Joe published a book, entitled “G. I. Joe and Lillie: Remembering a Life of Love and Loyalty”, about his parents’ lives during and after World War II. Joe had an interest in singing from an early age, and began singing in a church choir when he was four years old, then as he said, in his mid-teens, he fell in love with Southern Gospel music harmonies. Speaking about his educational background, he attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1966, he didn’t enroll in college but pursued his music career.
In one of his interviews, Joe said about his education: ‘I never went to college… although I think most folks know that. My college was the road and hard work.’
Joe formed his first group called The Faith Four during his high school days, and his sister Nancy Marie sang with him. Then a year after he matriculated from high school, Joe moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he joined The Keystone Quartet, alongside Richard Sterban, and eventually the group moved to Buffalo, New York, where Joe remained until 1973, when he moved to Hendersonville, Tennessee, and joined the Oaks.
In the middle ‘70s, The Oak Ridge Boys met their new manager Jim Halsey, who encouraged them to move from gospel music to country music, which was a fundamental change in the group’s history. When in 1977 they released their first country music album “Y’all Come Back Saloon”, two of their songs reached the top five on the country charts. In the following year, The Oak Ridge Boys released their next album, “Room Service”, and their first number-one hit was the song “I’ll Be True to You”. During their more than 40-year-long career, the group released 31 studio albums and 63 singles; their highest-selling album is “Fancy Free”, released in 1981.
Joe is the lead singer (tenor) in the group, and many of his fans enjoy his performing hit songs such as “Elvira”, “It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometime”, and “Love Song”, among many others, but he’s also the spokesman for The Oak Ridge Boys. They’re members of the Grand Ole Opry, The Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and in 2015, the group was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Love life and relationships
Joe hasn’t been the subject of any rumors and controversies concerning his love life, and it is widely known that he’s a married man. His wife is Mary Ann Bonsall, and the two tied the knot back in 1982; they have two daughters together, Sabrina and Jennifer.
Joe and Mary Ann founded the Joseph Sloan Bonsall & Mary Ann Bonsall Foundation in 1998, which supports responsible pet ownership, and provides funds for animal shelters, pet education, and care for animals. Joe uses every opportunity to say how thankful he is for having a great family, and particularly to his wife and daughters for all the support they’ve given him during his career. He is especially thankful for his grandchildren too, namely Luke and Breanne, and when recently he became a great-grandfather after his great-grandson Noah Chance was born, as Joe said, he was the happiest man on earth.
As of May 2022, Joe and his wife live in Hendersonville, and most of the time they spend on their 350-acre farm on the Tennessee-Kentucky line, with their seven cats, named Mitty, Crockett, Baybe’, Sunny, Ted, Blackie, and Sally Ann. They also have two donkeys, Truffles and Blondie.
Interesting facts about Joe Bonsall
As a child, he wanted to be a veterinarian, then he once almost went to police school. He loves guns, but he doesn’t go hunting. Joe is a big fan of birds. He has watched the movie “We Bought a Zoo” eight times, but he also enjoys movies of all kinds, ‘if the storytelling is good’, as he said, and for him, the most emotional thing that he has seen on the big screen is in the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, partly because his father was a soldier in World War II.
Joe is a big fan of the series “Game of Thrones”. His favorite writer is Steven King, but his favorite book is The Bible. Joe’s favorite foods are steak, pizza, sushi, and pancakes when he is on the road, but he most enjoys anything prepared by his wife Mary Ann. When he is on his farm, Joe enjoys driving his John Deere Tractor.
Age, height, and net worth
Joe is 74 years old, and has grey hair and brown eyes, and with a trademark is his mustache. He weighs around 185lbs (85kgs) and is 5ft 11ins (1.8m) tall. According to sources, as of May 2022, Joe’s net worth has been estimated at over $15 million.