Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall Thanks Fans for Prayers as ‘Health Issues’ Force Him to Sit Out Shows
Longtime Oak Ridge Boys stalwart Joe Bonsall reached out to fans via social media to explain why he is absent from the legendary country vocal group's live shows this weekend, thanking them for their prayers.
The 74-year-old singer, who has been a member of the iconic country and gospel group for nearly 50 years, turned to Twitter on Friday afternoon (June 17) after his appearance at some recent shows led to concerns about his health.
"There has been some concern for me and yes I AM having some health issues, that’s why I was looking a bit weak at the shows last week," Bonsall wrote, adding that he would not be on stage with the Oaks during the shows they have scheduled for the weekend. Rudy Gatlin from the Gatlin Brothers is filling in for Bonsall on the dates, which included a gig in Winchester, Tenn., on Friday night.
The singer did not go into further details about his health challenges, but he did add, "I am going to be ok," before ending by thanking his Twitter followers for their prayers.
Bonsall later re-tweeted a post from someone who attended Friday's show and shared a picture of Gatlin on stage with the Oak Ridge Boys, writing, "Rudy Gatlin was sounding pretty good tonight with @oakridgeboys in Winchester TN. Get well soon Joe."
According to their official concert calendar, the Oak Ridge Boys have a date scheduled for Saturday night (June 18) in Shipshewana, Ind., after which their calendar is clear until early July.
The Oak Ridge Boys' official Twitter account referenced that when they replied to Bonsall's initial tweet, saying the "light schedule" would afford Bonsall "plenty of time for recovery" and thanking Gatlin for stepping in:
They are slated to return to the stage at FreedomFest 2022 in Springfield, Tenn., on July 3.