3 Hits Written by Late Singer/Songwriter Andrew Gold

Andrew Gold, who had a wide-ranging and successful career as a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer, died on this day (June 3) in 2011. Gold had been undergoing treatment for kidney cancer when he suffered a fatal heart attack at age 59.

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Gold was raised in a musical family. His father, Ernest Gold, was an Oscar-winning composer. His mother, Marni Nixon, was an accomplished singer whose vocals were used in place of Natalie Wood in West Side Story, Deborah Kerr in The King and I, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

[RELATED: Review: Andrew Gold’s Tuneful Tribute to Times Passed]

Gold began writing songs as a teenager, and in the late 1960s, he formed the short-lived group Bryndle. The outfit also featured fellow singer/songwriters Karla Bonoff, Wendy Waldman, and Kenny Edwards. In the mid-1970s, Gold joined Linda Ronstadt’s band and made major musical contributions to three of her albums—Heart Like a Wheel (1974), Prisoner in Disguise (1975), and Hasten Down the Wind (1976).

He also co-wrote the Hasten Down the Wind track “Try Me Again” with Ronstadt.

By the mid-1970s, Gold began releasing his own solo albums, and he scored hits with two memorable pop tunes. He also began contributing songs and playing on albums by a wide variety of other artists.

In commemoration of the anniversary of his passing, here are three memorable songs written and sung by Gold that were hits for himself or other artists:

“Lonely Boy” (1976)

Gold’s biggest hit as a solo artist was “Lonely Boy,” which was featured on his second studio album, What’s Wrong with This Picture? (1976). The song reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 11 in the U.K.

Ronstadt sang backing vocals on the track, while Edwards (who had been a member of Bryndle, as well as Linda’s old band The Stone Poneys) played bass.

In 1997, “Lonely Boy” was featured prominently in a scene in Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed film Boogie Nights. It also appeared in The Water Boy (1998), The Nice Guys (2016), and episodes of the TV series This Is Us and Animal Kingdom.

“Thank You for Being a Friend” (1978)

“Thank You for Being a Friend” was featured on Gold’s third album, All This and Heaven Too. The catchy, upbeat pop tune peaked at No. 25 on the Hot 100.

Edwards also contributed bass to this track, while Toto’s Jeff Porcaro played drums.

A cover of “Thank You for Being a Friend” by Cindy Fee was used as the theme song by the popular sitcom The Golden Girls, which ran from 1985 to 1992.

“I Saw the Light” – Wynonna Judd (1992)

Gold co-wrote the song “I Saw the Light” with Lisa Angelle. The tune was recorded by country star Wynonna Judd and appeared on her 1992 debut solo album, Wynonna.

The song spent three weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart on July of ’92. It wound up being Billboard’s top-ranked country song for that year.

Gold contributed backing vocals to the track.

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