Mark Ellerbee passes away

Former Oak Ridge Boys drummer Mark Ellerbee passed away last Saturday in Tallahassee, Florida. Here’s his obituary (hat tip, Kyle). Ellerbee played drums for the Oak Ridge Boys for twelve years, from 1969-1981.

A Rusty Golden interview we published back in 2008 includes Golden’s recollections of Ellerbee, including a memorable story of Ellerbee’s role in a drama about the life of Christ.

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7 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Is there no one out there that seen Mark play with the Oak Ridge Boys besides myself. They really had a good live band back in the day. He played with them for 12 years, just think that would be some kind of record today for a person to stay with a group that long. May he rest in peace.

    • I’m thinking that the current Oak Ridge Boys drummer has been there longer, but he’s family.

      Ditto for the current Hoppers drummer, but he’s also family. 🙂

      Ditto for the current Kingsmen soundman (and past drummer), but he’s also family. 🙂

      And the list goes on! 🙂

    • I remember Fred Satterfield as being their drummer during their peak years.

      • Fred replaced Mark and stayed until 1998. Chris Golden has been playing drums for the Oaks since then.

  2. I saw Mark Ellerbee with ORB a number of times as well as a part of Gospel Festival and the play “The Three Nails.” At the time a drummer was not a common occurrence on the gospel circuit. He added a great deal to the ORB sound at that time.

  3. I saw the ORB several times during his tenure. He was with them when “Light” came out. Of all the SG music I’ve heard from 1960 to today, there has not been any group whose sound is tighter or more full than the ORB. I loved “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” RIP Mark!

  4. Mark was the kind of guy that kept my eyes glued on him while playing for the ORB. I liked the band so much I went to their studio on rockland road in Hendersonville and recorded a record using the oaks band. Mark was my hero. He showed up that day with his foot in a cast. Lol he had hurt it playing golf. Lol. But played anyway and did a great job. RIP Bro mark.