The Goldens were brothers Rusty and Chris, the sons of longtime Oak Ridge Boys singer William Lee Golden (he of the wild-haired mountain-man persona). Both Rusty and Chris were born in Brewton, AL, and grew up singing Southern gospel music; both went on to learn several instruments apiece. Chris played drums, keyboards, guitar, and mandolin, while Rusty took up the drums at age eight, and four years later learned piano upon discovering Elton John. Chris went on to play piano in the gospel group the Telestials at 15; at 18, he joined a band called Cedar Creek, and a year later sang on the TV show Hee Haw. Rusty, meanwhile, played occasionally with his father's backing band at age 15, and at 18 he joined Larry Gatlin's backing band. He recorded and toured with Gatlin for several years, working on his songwriting all the while, and left to start a pop-oriented group called the Boys Band, which recorded a self-titled album for Asylum in 1982. Chris played with the band as he was finishing up high school, but it didn't last much longer. The brothers teamed up with friend Marc Speer in 1984 as Golden Speer, but a recording session went nowhere. In 1987, Rusty and Chris formed their own group, the Goldens, and handled keyboards and lead vocals, respectively; supporting musicians included guitarist Skip Mitchell, fiddler/steel guitarist Bobby Randall, bassist Don Breland, and drummer Buster Phillips. They recorded a self-titled debut album for Epic, which produced the singles "Put Us Together Again" and "Sorry Girls." Neither broke them to the country audience, and they moved over to Capitol in 1989, issuing Rush for Gold the following year. Several more singles proved minor hits, but failed to establish the group commercially, and they disbanded soon after. Both Rusty and Chris continued to work as session musicians; most notably, Rusty played with Dallas County Line, while Chris was hired as the Oak Ridge Boys' drummer in 1998.
Share this page