We asked Oak Ridge Boy how music keeps him young.
William Lee Golden may be 84 today, but he still sounds like a guy just starting out. Indeed, when we spoke on the phone yesterday, he talked about his upcoming plans for maintaining a demanding schedule of touring and recording – not only with his fellow Oak Ridge Boys, but also with William Lee Golden and The Also with his three sons as an ensemble known as the . Golden. Now ubiquitous television, to paraphrase his commercial line, if age is just a number, he’s not on the list.
Below are highlights from our conversation, edited for clarity and brevity.
cowboys & indians: First of all, happy birthday, teacher. When you were young, did you think you could live this long?
William Lee Golden: [Laughs] Man, I hoped so. My grandfather lived to be 85 years old. In fact one of my grandfathers he lived to be 94 years old. He fell and hit his head and died in an accident, but he was doing well until then. It’s something you face every day, and every day can be difficult if you’re not careful.
C&I: Besides music, what keeps you young?
Golden: As we get older, we sometimes find ourselves having to rejuvenate ourselves, stay active, and do something. You need to rejuvenate yourself, make sure all your parts are working, get your cardio started, and get your energy up and ready to get back on your feet. In the morning I do hundreds of sit-ups. For example, do 100 times and he holds his breath for about 30 minutes, then do another 100 times, slowly inhale and exhale. You will feel better and sing better. Rather than sit back and relax and let your belly hang, engage your diaphragm to keep it tight.
C&I: And we’ve talked about this before.We’ve been able to stay active during the Covid lockdown.
golden: Well, for about a week or so, I watched the news like most people. I had to turn it off and walk away from it. And all of these old songs kept flooding my mind on a daily basis. Then he called his family and children together and began to sing together. And we found healing in old songs mentally and emotionally — physical and spiritual healing. So I recorded 34 of his songs with my sons Chris, Rusty and Craig. I made three albums as William Lee Golden and The Goldens.
Then I made an album with the Oak Ridge Boys front porch singin during a pandemic. And wrote Scott England and his autobiography. He helped me write it and interviewed me countless times. He sat with me on the front porch and talked during the pandemic. For six or eight months he would meet two or three times a week for a few hours and he would record it all. So he put it all together.
C&I: and now?
Golden: What I am doing now is staying with the Oakridge Boys. Just finished his 32 Christmas show here at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel. The Christmas show at Opryland was his third year in a row. And we’re back on tour this weekend. We are heading to Texas. We are in Greenville on Friday night. Then go to Galveston Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. And from there, the next week he goes out to Florida on like three different dates and sings on a cruise there one day.
And when they’re not busy, I’m doing something with my sons and the band. My sons are great singers and musicians. Also, when the family is in a band, he has three or he four men who play and sing together. That’s what we do, man. And it was so much fun being there and singing these songs. Most of it was recorded during the pandemic. The fabric of our lives, all of us who love music and want to be part of it, these great old songs are made by great songwriters of all times. And that’s what music is. It is a way of communicating our feelings and expressions. Our hearts and souls communicate through song.
C&I: Do you have any health tips for us whippersnappers?
Golden: Well, it’s routine. Every day should be exciting. At least I am. If you wake up feeling good, it’s a good day. So you get up and get out there and do whatever you want to do. I am the man who feeds the wildlife and animals around our property and I am the man who cleans up the mess. And the more you stay active, the better you feel. You know, we sit too much. I have to get out of the can and get out there and take a walk. At least there’s a nice greenway across the street from where we live and across the creek there. After crossing the stream and exiting the main gate, you will come to a green road. that’s what i do.
C&I: Do you have any special plans for Thursday?
Golden: Man, I just want to wake up, be happy, stay alive and keep kicking. If not, I will sing alone.