Sunday Music – Lonely Boy

Posted on Sun 12/10/2017 by


Today’s music video is Lonely Boy and the song is performed here by the American singer songwriter Andrew Gold.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by CountryRock2U

Looking back across the years now, I’m amazed that while some songs hardly register on National Charts, they did rate highly on some local charts, and received quite regular airplay on radio. Such is the case with this song. In 1977, when this song was released, I was still single and in the Royal Australian Air Force, and stationed in Newcastle, and while that city is big, it’s not as big as the two major Australian Capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne, where radio was really competitive, and it was still only AM radio here in Australia at that time. Those two big Capitals had around ten or more radio stations, all competing against each other for listeners. In Newcastle, they only had the National Broadcaster and three commercial radio stations, and while they were still competitive, it was more close knit than in the big cities. Because of that some songs that were picked up by one radio station often also got picked up by the other two stations as well, and that probably came about through the medium of phone in request shows, which were also popular in those days on all three of those local radio stations where I lived. Callers would request the song on one of the other stations and it would get played, and then played again, so it got picked up more quickly than in the Capital cities.

While this song from Andrew Gold was a Worldwide International hit, it hardly registered here on the Australian National Chart, where the song barely made it into the Top 40 Charts at a National level. When I saw that, it surprised me, because in Newcastle it was a pretty big hit, and was often played on radio, well, more than you’d expect from a song which was not a National Charting song.

Even though this was his biggest hit, Andrew Gold had already been around for a long time in the music industry. He formed a band in early 1970, and got work as an arranger and producer for a number of other artists. In 1974, after working with her for some time, Andrew was a band member in Linda Ronstadt’s backing band, and he worked on Linda Ronstadt’s fifth album, Heart Like A Wheel. Linda had been performing the 1963 Clint Ballard written song You’re No Good for some time now at her many concerts, and that song had already been released by a number of artists as a Single. Linda needed another song for this new album, and she suggested You’re No Good. Andrew had already contributed on this album with a number of instruments, and now in the studio, Linda sang along to a basic guitar, bass, and Andrew on drums. From that basic track, Andrew with the help of Peter Asher who produced the album, they then layered up a number of other Instruments, gradually adding them to what they already had, and then another layer with another instrument, In the end, that track alone features Linda singing, and virtually every other instrument was played by Andrew. In fact, at one stage, part of the master was wiped, and Andrew had to re-record the lead guitar break all over again. That song was a Monster hit for Linda, as was that album, Heart Like A Wheel, which ended up winning a Grammy Award. All up, just on that one Linda Ronstadt album, Andrew Gold contributed ten instruments and backing vocals as well, most of them just on that one song.

The next year, 1975, Andrew Gold released his first, self titled solo album, which while only just charting, was very well received by music commentators in general.

In late 1976, he released his second solo album, What’s Wrong With This Picture, and the song I have featured today, Lonely Boy was the Single lifted from the album. The song was pretty much a hit right from the start. I went almost into the Top Five nationally in the U.S. and it was an International hit all over the World. In the US it spent five Months in the National Charts. While the song I have featured here is the live version, Linda Ronstadt appeared on the studio version singing backing vocals.

While the dates he mentioned in this song line up with his own birth, that of his sister, and also when he left home, Andrew says that song is in no way autobiographical, as he had a very happy childhood.

As I mentioned above, while the song barely registered on the National Chart here in Australia, it was quite a big hit in the local area where I was at the time, just another of those musical anomalies that you see with so many songs across the years.

Andrew had a long and successful musical career, and while this was his biggest hit, he is perhaps better remembered for another song he wrote, Thank You For Being A Friend, which was a successful Single lifted from his third album released in 1978. That song was later recorded in 1985 by Cynthia Fee and was used as the theme song for the hugely popular TV Series The Golden Girls.

Sadly, Andrew is no longer with us, dying in 2011, aged only 59 from a heart attack while he slept.

Posted in: Music, Videos