.

Oak Ridge Boys Sing for Ailing George H.W. Bush

Country veterans serenade 88-year-old former president

Richard Sterban, William Lee Golden, Duane Allen and Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys
Ed Rode/Getty Images
December 30, 2012 11:45 AM ET

Longtime country music institution the Oak Ridge Boys serenaded an ailing George H.W. Bush over the phone Friday, reaching the former president at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, where he was being treated for bronchitis and a fever. Doctors say Bush, 88, is improving, and he was moved out of intensive care Saturday. 

How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich

The group was on vacation when they heard from former First Lady Barbara Bush, who requested they sing for her husband. The bandmembers convened at their office and contacted the Bushes, singing one of their signature songs, "Elvira," and part of "Amazing Grace" for the ex-president.

"We blasted some 'oom pop a mau maus' in the direction of Houston, Texas," reported Joe Bonsall, who has been with the long-running group since the early Seventies.

"This friendship goes back many years," said Bush's office in a statement, "and what happened yesterday gave the president a real shot in the arm."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com