Monday, June 24, 2013

Andrew Gold--Lonely Boy (1977)/Thank You For Being a Friend (1978)

     It's not often that we have a blog that deals with two songs, but thought it was a great example of how two songs take wildly diverting paths to success. "Lonely Boy" was the highest charting song of Gold's career, but one could argue that "Thank You For Being a Friend" is by far the most popular....
     Andrew came from very successful parents. His Mother, Marni Nixon, was a singer who provided the voices for many actresses in the movies, most notably Natalie Wood in "West Side Story" and Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady". His Dad was Ernest Gold who won an Oscar for composing the music to the movie, "Exodus". Not surprisingly, the eldest child Andrew, began writing songs by the time he was a teenager.
     Throughout the 70's Gold became one of the most in demand musicians/songwriters/producers in pop music. He was a major cog in the success of Linda Ronstadt beginning with her breakthrough album, "Heart Like a Wheel" and the rest of her albums that decade as an musician and arranger. His credits reads like a who's who of mid to late 70's pop; 10cc, Art Garfunkel, Eric Carmen, Carly Simon, John Lennon, Maria Muldaur, Karla Bonoff, Stephen Bishop, and many others.
     He began his career as a solo artist in 1975 and recorded four albums in the 70s. His first major hit was, "Lonely Boy", which although containing some autobiographical material, is not about him at all, a fact that had haunted him a bit over the years, and something that he admits wasn't a great idea, but was convenient at the time. It went to number 7 on the Hot 100. But it was his next single, that he probably best remembered for.
     "Thank You For Being A Friend", Gold's ode to friendship was released in 1978 and although not doing as well as "Lonely Boy", charted quite respectively at number 25, and although it was his last top 40 hit, he continued write, record, and work with other musicians. It was 1984, that a new sitcom on NBC called "The Golden Girls" was developed by writer Susan Harris. "Thank You For Being A Friend" was chosen as the theme, and although not sung by Gold on the show, (it was sung by Cynthia Fee), it brought him back into the spotlight once again. Due to the show being a hit for six seasons (it was on a total of seven), it is probably much better known song, even if many don't recognize it's author.
     Gold continued working continually until his death in 2011 at the age of 59.



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