Skip Mitchell, Former Oak Ridge Boys Guitarist, Dead at 65

by Jon D. B.

Tennessee country pioneers The Oak Ridge Boys have lost one of their own as former guitarist Skip Mitchell passes at 65.

The Oak Ridge Boys broke the news today on social media that they’ve lost a dear friend and former bandmate. The band’s late guitarist, Harold Wayne “Skip” Mitchell, Jr., has died. Mitchell’s obituary states his passing took place this December 28, 2020. He was only 65-years-old.

“Very sad news today. Our friend and longtime guitarist Skip Mitchell has passed away,” the band posts announcing his death. “Our prayers are with his family. L to R: Garland Craft, Mark Ellerbee, Skip, Don Breland. Photo by David Montgomery.”

An integral part of their sound, Skip’s talent as a guitarist elevated The Oak Ridge Boys for 10 years: from 1976 to 1986.

“So many friends have gone home … hard to process and yet … the promise of Heaven and eternity presents a certain comfort that only comes with knowing Jesus,” the band tributes on Twitter. “Old things pass away and all things will one day become new … Better Days ahead … RIP Skip Don Mark.”

Skip Mitchell: Far More Than a Former Oak Ridge Boys Guitarist

“Skip Mitchell played leader guitar for us from 1976 to 1986 and earned CMA awards for BAND OF THE YEAR,” the band continues on Twitter. “He was an incredible sound engineer… He was a brother… and a road warrior… and he went HOME yesterday… Rest Easy Skip.”

In addition to performing with The Oak Ridge Boys for those ten years, Mitchell was also a guitarist for The Goldens. Moreover, he was a skillful sound engineer, having toured with many bands as staff engineer. Skip was also known as a prolific audio mixer. He will be forever celebrated as a guitarist, however, having won several prestigious awards, including a Grammy, while with The Oak Ridge Boys.

All in all, his life was in dedication to music. The Tennessee native lived and breathed the state’s music for most of his life before passing away the 28th in Hendersonville just north of Nashville.

The ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic is preventing a service for his passing, however. In it’s stead, Mitchell’s family asks that any wishing to make a donation in his name do so to the Music Health Alliance. This organization, a favorite of the guitarist’s, helps struggling musicians with medical bills and other expenses.

From all of us here at – our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Skip Mitchell and The Oak Ridge Boys.