Known for 'Lonely Boy' hit and Golden Girls theme

Singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Andrew Gold died of a heart attack June 3 in Los Angeles. He was 59.

An early signing at David Geffen’s Asylum Records, Gold was best known for a run of mid-’70s albums that spawned the pop hits “Lonely Boy” (No. 7, 1977) and “Thank You For Being a Friend” (No. 25, 1978); the latter song later became the theme of the sitcom “The Golden Girls.”

Son of Ernest Gold, Oscar-winning composer of the “Exodus” soundtrack, and prominent soundtrack ghost singer Marni Nixon, Gold cut his musical teeth at West Hollywood’s Troubadour. He first attracted attention as a member of Bryndle, a folk-rock act that also featured Wendy Waldman, Karla Bonoff and the late Kenny Edwards.

In 1973, Gold became the leader of Linda Ronstadt’s band; his work was featured on Ronstadt’s 1974 solo breakthrough “Heart Like a Wheel” and on her hits “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved.” He made his Asylum debut with a self-titled 1975 LP.

During the ’80s, Gold formed the band Wax UK with former 10cc member Graham Gouldman; the act cut three albums. Bryndle regrouped for two new albums and live appearances during the ’90s.

His later solo work included the country album “The Spence Manor Suite” (2000) and “Copy Cat” (2008), a ’60s-oriented set of covers that included several Beatles songs.

Additionally, Gold worked as a producer, writer and sideman for Art Garfunkel, Nicolette Larson, Stephen Bishop, Vince Gill, Celine Dion, Aaron Neville, Wynonna Judd, James Taylor, Paul McCartney, Jackson Browne, Cher, Brian Wilson and Japanese star Eikichi Yazawa.

He is survived by his wife and three daughters.

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