Gonna Take a Lot of River

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"Gonna Take a Lot of River"
Single by The Oak Ridge Boys
from the album Monongahela
Released July 1988 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1988
Genre Country
Length 3:00
Label MCA
Writer(s) Mark Henley
John Kurhajetz
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen
The Oak Ridge Boys singles chronology
"True Heart"
"Gonna Take a Lot of River"
"Bridges and Walls"

"Gonna Take a Lot of River" — often known as "Gonna Take a Lot of River (Mississippi, Monongahela, Ohio)" — is a song written by John Kurhajetz and Mark Henley, and recorded by American country music group The Oak Ridge Boys. It was released in July 1988 as the lead-off single from the album Monongahela.

In October 1988, the song ascended to No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart. The band's 15th chart topper in a string dating to 1978, "Gonna Take a Lot of River" was the first to feature the lead vocals of group baritone Steve Sanders, who succeeded William Lee Golden in the group's lineup.

In 2011, the group rerecorded the song with a new arrangement and tenor singer Joe Bonsall on lead vocals for their It's Only Natural project at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. The album included songs originally sung by Sanders. The lineup included Golden on baritone vocals.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1


  • Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits." (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2))
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944-2005," 2006.
Preceded by
"Strong Enough to Bend"
by Tanya Tucker
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

October 29, 1988
Succeeded by
by T. Graham Brown