Hospitalized Bush serenaded by Oak Ridge Boys


Country and gospel vocal quartet The Oak Ridge Boys used music as medicine, hoping to encourage the former president as he remains hospitalized here in Houston.

The Oak Ridge Boys -- Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Joe Bonsall and Richard Sterban -- don't rush to the studio for just anybody. But for the 41st president of the United States, there is nothing this group wouldn't do.

The call to The Oak Ridge Boys came from former First Lady Barbara Bush, who said her 88-year-old husband, who has been fighting a bronchial infection since November 23, would like to hear from the group.

"We'd been praying for him for a couple of days when we heard he was in ICU," Golden said.

As Bush lay in his room at Methodist Hospital, the quartet performed for him as if they were all back in Kennebunkport, Maine, where they have spent much happier times with the Bush family.

"We talked to the president and asked him what song," Golden said. "He said he was ready to hear some of 'Elvira,' so we sang 'Elvira.'"

Their second song was a favorite of the senior Bushes, both devout Episcopalians: "Amazing Grace."

The thrill of the day for The Oak Ridge Boys was not the performance itself, it was the reported impact it had on their dear friend.

"We kept getting reports every hour or two and he's feeling better, and that's the great thing," Golden said.

A Bush spokesperson says the president has been in good spirits and is out of ICU and in a regular patient room.

There is no word on a potential date when the president could be sent home.


If you would like to send a get well card to President George H.W. Bush you can send it to:

    George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
    Attn: President George Bush
    1000 George Bush Drive West
    College Station, TX 77845

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