Saturday, June 11, 2011

Andrew Gold R.I.P.

This week I found out from an old radio buddy, Barry Pendry who was Barry Stewart on WCIR, that Andrew Gold passed away last Friday, June 3, 2011. He died in his sleep from an apparent heart attack. He was 59 years old.

Gold came from a musical family. His father, Ernest Gold, won an academy award for composing the music for the movie “Exodus.” His mother is 81 year-old Marni Nixon who is known for supplying the singing voice for a number of leading ladies in musicals. Andrew bore a remarkable resemblance to his mother.

Gold, a multi-instrumentalist, came into the public eye with his work on Linda Ronstadt’s “Heart Like A Wheel” and subsequent recordings. He released a number of solo albums and had Top 40 hits with “Lonely Boy” which charted at #7 and “Thank you for being a Friend” that was a mid-charter at #25. The song enjoyed a long run as the theme for the TV show “The Golden Girls” featuring a cover by Cynthia Fee. I’m sure Gold reaped great benefit from the royalties from the usage of his tune.

Today in honor of this passing musician, I am featuring four bubbling under songs from the great Andrew Gold.

Never Let Her Slip Away

From Andrew’s third solo LP “All this and Heaven Too,” “Never Let Her Slip Away” features Andrew playing a polyphonic synthesizer – which was a novelty in 1978. I am not sure of the model, but at that time only a few were on the market. They were the Oberheim four and eight voice models and Sequential Circuits’ Prophet 5. Both products were made available by the time Gold commenced recording this LP.

Ernie Watts plays the memorable saxophone and background vocals were supplied by another one Asylum’s stable of artists: J.D. Souther. “Never Let Her Slip Away” peaked on the American charts at 67.

Wax UK: “Right Between the Eyes”

Although this band which was a collaboration of Gold and Graham Gouldman of 10cc was known as Wax in the United Kingdom, trademark restrictions in the US required that the American releases be listed as Wax UK. In this video, Gold is seen playing bass. The song only peaked in the US at #43.

Final Frontier (Mad About You Theme)

Don Was and Paul Reiser wrote the theme to Reiser’s and Helen Hunt’s successful NBC sitcom that aired from 1992 to 1999. Andrew Gold’s recording of the song ran for most of the show’s duration replaced by Anita Baker’s cover during the show’s last run. While this was never a radio hit, its airplay on TV provides the impetus of being a bubbling under hit.

Bryndle – “On the Streets of Your Town”

One of Gold’s earlier forays into the music business was with the group Bryndle, which also included Kenny Edwards, Wendy Waldman, and Karla Bonoff. This pre-supergroup reformed in the 1990s and released three albums. From their 1995 self-titled release, here’s “On the Streets of Your Town.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this excursion into the bubbling under hits by Andrew Gold. We’ll miss you as you are now on your final frontier.

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