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Born on a summer day, 1951

June 6, 2011
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Andrew Gold, singer of “Lonely Boy,” died. I didn’t really know much about him, but apparently he was associated with Linda Ronstadt and 10cc and came from a pretty musical family. He was 59, and passed on at that unfortunately young age (and yes, he was indeed born on a summer day in 1951). Rest in peace.

His skills in the recording studio helped to propel Linda Ronstadt to stardom, and he worked with a long list of top-flight artists from the Eagles and Jackson Browne to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Cher and Celine Dion. A musical career seemed almost inevitable from the moment he was born, in Burbank, California. His parents were Marni Nixon, the singer who dubbed the musical performances of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, Deborah Kerr in The King And I and Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and the composer Ernest Gold, who scored the movie Exodus.

He first met Ronstadt as a high school student in the 1960s, when he saw her perform with her band the Stone Poneys (“My girlfriend was pissed off at me cos I kept checking out Linda’s legs,” he confessed.) Gold was a crucial contributor to her 1974 breakthrough album, Heart Like a Wheel, adding the celebrated guitar solo to the Billboard chart-topper You’re No Good. He stayed with Ronstadt until 1977, playing on her next four albums.

Even before leaving the Ronstadt fold, he had branched out into a solo career, releasing his first album, Andrew Gold, in 1975, and following it up with What’s Wrong With This Picture? (1976). Lonely Boy gave him his first big hit, in 1977, cracking the US top 10 and reaching No 11 in Britain. Gold revealed that the song was partly inspired by Ry Cooder’s version of How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live, adding that “I thought it should be an eight-minute opus, but I got bored after three and a half.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2011 12:34 pm

    Wow, I forgot all about this guy and now he’s dead. R.I.P.

  2. jco permalink
    June 7, 2011 6:16 pm

    Such a sad song. I don’t think I’ve listened to it in decades (I forgot about him too!) but it was all over the radio when I really listened to the radio.

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