His birth name was William Lee Golden, Jr.

His father and namesake are perhaps the most famous people out of Brewton, Alabama. William Lee Golden (Sr.) is the iconic symbol of his band, The Oak Ridge Boys. He is instantly recognizable with his long grey/white beard and his deep baritone voice.

Wanting Junior to have his own life and persona, the father and mother decided early on to call him “Rusty.” The name stuck, and many friends and followers of Rusty Golden do not know that he is William Lee Golden, Jr.

The son died before the father. Rusty Golden died July 1 at age 65 in Hendersonville, Tennessee, near Nashville. No cause of death and no arrangements were yet announced.

Williamleegolden Alabama News
William Lee Golden, Sr. The Oak Ridge Boys

Rusty had a musical career of his own as a musician and songwriter. Along with his younger brother, Chris Golden, he was one half of the country group The Goldens.

Before forming The Goldens, Rusty was a member of “Cedar Creek.”

The Goldens' self-titled debut album was released in 1987.  Two singles from the album, "Put Us Together Again" and "Sorry Girls," charted on the Billboard Country chart. Rusty and the Goldens released their second and last album, Rush for Gold, in 1990. It produced three charting singles, "Take Me Back To The Country," "Keep The Faith," and "Long Gone."

After disbanding The Goldens, Rusty released three solo albums and continued to write songs until his death.

Brother Chris reunited with the Oak Ridge Boys as drummer and played for "Alabama."

During the COVID pandemic, the brothers reunited, and along with father William Lee Golden, Sr. and Chris's three children, recorded three albums as “William Lee Golden & The Goldens.” They started touring as a family again in 2022, along with what they called “an all-star band.”

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler’s beat is the colorful and positive about Alabama. He writes about Alabama people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

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