Chris Golden describes himself as a "Backstage Baby". Born into a rich musical legacy, Chris began his musical career almost as soon as he could walk. A second generation of The Oak Ridge Boys organization, Chris was two when his father William Lee Golden joined the group in 1965. "From an early age I was surrounded by music on both sides of the family," recalls Chris, "and it was something that came very natural and easy for me." Chris never took any musical lessons and considers his ability to hear something a few times and then play it a "gift from God." In elementary school, Chris was already learning to play the drums, piano, and guitar. While growing up in Tennessee, Chris spent summers on his grandparent's farm in south Alabama, working in the fields and singing in church. During this time he developed an appreciation for family harmonies and a steadfast work ethic.
At 15, Chris began playing piano for a group called the Telestials, touring the Southern Gospel circuit. The week he graduated high school, he started touring with brother Rusty in The Boys Band; the group recorded an album for Elektra /Asylum and had a pop hit that stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. At 18 he joined the Canadian group Cedar Creek, which had Top 10 chart action on the Canadian country charts as well as the U.S. At 19 Chris stepped out from behind the drums and made his lead vocal debut on the hit TV show Hee Haw. In 1984 he teamed up again with brother Rusty and friend Marc Speer as Golden Speer and went to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record demos for CBS with veteran "super drummer" Roger Hawkins and bass man David Hood. Already a "road scholar" this is where Chris "got my master's." In 1987, the brothers began recording as The Goldens, charting with a couple of singles released on CBS/Epic and produced by James Stroud. In 1989, on Capitol/SBK Records, the Goldens released the album "Rush for Gold," which racked up more chart singles and spawned three music videos, one of which Chris produced and directed. During this time he was constantly touring and continued to work as a session musician.
In 1995, he began performing with the Oaks playing "whatever's left;" guitar, mandolin, harmonica and filling in on keyboards and drums. In July of 1998 this multi-talented man, who also has charted songwriter credits, became the Oaks full-time drummer. He has been the voice of Heinz 57 as national radio spokesman "to support my music habit," has played a variety of instruments on a multitude of recordings over the years, produced various projects for clients such as Polygram and EMI Records, and has also enjoyed a brief stint with country-rock legends The Flying Burrito Brothers. In 2000 Chris produced William Lee Golden's CD Box Set "My Life's Work." Chris can also be heard on the Oak's latest CD's "From The Heart","Inconvenient Christmas" and "The Journey".
However, it’s his recent solo work that best showcases Golden’s gifts. In 2004, he released “Down The Road,” a solid collection that was recorded in hotel rooms, on stages, and in dressing rooms across the country while Golden was on tour. “It really is what makes me the happiest,” he says of performing. “That is when I’m at peace and I’m having more fun…when I’m on stage singing. I feel like I am making a difference, that I matter.” Golden’s new project, “CenterStage,” is a powerful collection of country songs that celebrate faith, family, and the things that matter most. Golden’s reputation helped him score songs from some of Music Row’s top songwriters, among them Jeffrey Steele, Bobby Tomberlin, Keith Stegall, Dennis Matkosky, Jimbeau Hinson, and Fred Knobloch. “CenterStage” spotlights an artist at the peak of his creative intensity. Chris Golden has an ear for great songs and a compelling voice that brings them to life. He has that unique ability to totally inhabit a lyric, interpreting life in his songs in such a way that they seep into your soul. “I feel like I have been given a gift, and I would be turning my back on my calling if I didn’t keep doing this,” he says. “I love and live to entertain.”
He and his wife Kimberly and their daughters Elizabeth and Rebekah, and their son Elijah live near Nashville.
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