The Oak Ridge Boys engaged in a tribute to chronically ill ex-President Bush, serenading the 41st President in the hospital yesterday as he recovered.
According to CNN, the Oak Ridge Boys serenading the former President was a special request from Barbara Bush — and while the command performance wasn’t an in-person one, the ex-prez was moved all the same by the touching tribute.
Rolling Stone reports that George H.W. Bush’s spirits were lifted, and the stricken former POTUS was also moved within the hospital out of intensive care:
“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.”
CNN reports that the Oak Ridge Boys, before serenading Bush, had a history with the politician that predated even his presidency. The network quotes member Duane Allen as recalling:
“We don’t take our politics to the stage, but back in ‘82 when George Bush was vice president, we were doing a barbecue on the congressional front lawn, where they bring all the parties in and they bring their families in, and we were doing a sound check that afternoon, and here came a long lanky guy with the plastic bag full of goodies over his shoulder … he started literally running towards the stage, and as he got closer we realized – this is Vice President George Bush. We had heard that he liked our music, but he came up on stage, gave us all vice presidential T-shirts, and he started requesting songs.”
Oak Ridge Boys member Joe Bonsall said:
“Every year we go up to Kennebunkport (Maine) – or at least every other year – with our wives and families and spend a couple of days with the Bushes at what is probably the greatest bed and breakfast in the history of the world.”
In a statement, the Bush family thanked the Oak Ridge Boys for serenading George H.W., and said:
“Words cannot properly express how much The Oaks’ special performance meant to the president and the Bush family. This friendship goes back many years, and what happened yesterday gave the President a real shot in the arm as he, thankfully, continues to improve. The Bushes continue to feel so blessed to have so many friends like The Oaks, and wish to thank one and all for their prayers and good wishes.”
The Oak Ridge Boys, aside from serenading Bush, also performed at this year’s Republican National Convention.