Thank You for Being a Friend

Album: All This and Heaven Too (1978)
Charted: 42 25
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This breezy song embodied the Southern California sound of the late '70s - Gold said he was in his "Brian Wilson phase" when he wrote it. The song finds Gold showing gratitude to a true friend, assuring this person that he will be there until the end.
  • Seven years after this song was a hit for singer/songwriter Andrew Gold, it became the theme from the NBC sitcom The Golden Girls, which ran from 1985-1992. A jingle singer named Cynthia Fee sang the TV version.

    With lyrics about a friendship that endures into old age, the song is remarkably appropriate for the show:

    And when we both get older
    With walking canes and hair of gray
    Have no fear, even though it's hard to hear
    I will stand real close and say,
    "Thank you for being a friend"
    >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
  • Gold wrote that this song was "sort of dedicated" to his musical partner Brock Walsh and his manager Norman Epstein.
  • According to Gold, it took him just an hour to write this song. Recording it was more onerous: they did 40 takes, and went with #40.
  • Andrew Gold was a singer-songwriter-producer who was the son of the composer Ernest Gold and his first wife, singer Marni Nixon. He was a popular studio musician in the early '70s, when he played guitar and sang on many Linda Ronstadt recordings. After a spell in a folk-rock band called Bryndle, he released his first solo album in 1975. His breakout hit came in 1977 with "Lonely Boy," which went to #7 in the US. "Thank You for Being a Friend" appeared on his third album.

    Gold charted with another song from that album, "Never Let Her Slip Away," which went to #67, but that was his last entry as a solo artist. For much of the '80s, he was in the band Wax with Graham Gouldman; they reached #43 US in 1986 with "Right Between The Eyes" and #12 UK in 1987 with "Bridge to Your Heart." He also co-wrote the Wynonna Judd song "I Saw the Light," which was a #1 Country hit in 1992. Gold died in 2011 at age 59.
  • An unusual instrument in the mix of this track: sleigh bells.
  • Andrew Gold worked on another popular sitcom theme song, "Final Frontier," which opened the Paul Reiser/Helen Hunt TV series Mad About You during its run from 1992-1999. Gold didn't write that one though - Reiser and Don Was did. Gold sang the version that was used on the show for the first five seasons.
  • Jeff Porcaro from the band Toto played drums on this track; renown session guitarist Waddy Wachtel played guitar.
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Comments: 11

  • Ker from PaI'm a historian who was born in 1965 - I grew up in the '70s. They weren't depressing. Every era has bad things happen and good things happen. I can't tell you one era of human existence that's left any kind of record of the civilization, that hasn't had good and bad times. That's the crux of human existence.

    Want to have some happy music from the '70s pointed out for you? Here is a tiny little list from thousands of acts and/or songs I could possibly mention. KC & the Sunshine Band. I still listen to it. AC/DC became an international sensation in the 1970s - I've been listening to them since 1979, even their songs about the death of their lead singer are fun, hard rocking hits. KISS - big in the '70s, to an adolescent like me at the time their rock was sexy - in fact, I still think it is. Led Zeppelin - one of the most awesome rock bands ever, never depressing. "What I Like About You" by the Romantics, one of the happiest songs ever, was written in 1979. The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Commodores, Earth Wind & Fire - I can name most of Motown that transitioned from '60s R&B to '70s funk easily - none of it depressing. Disco in and of itself was the opposite of depressing, and it's the very essence of the 1970s.

    Vietnam ended in 1974; not even halfway through the decade. Most of the political upheaval of the late 20th century in US History happened in the 1960s, not the '70s. The '70s were the cool-down, get-down, party-down time. THAT'S how I remember the '70s. Most of the music we now classify as "Classic Rock" is from the 1970s. Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Elton John, The Who -- my goodness, I could spend all night naming 1970s music that was happy, sexy, or rockin'.

    Don't dis the '70s again. Put on some Zeppelin, turn on a black light, and chill.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 14th 1985, the thirty minute weekly sitcom series, "The Golden Girls", premiered on the NBC-TV network...
    The series ran for seven years with a total of 173 original episodes...
    The series' theme song, "Thank You for Being a Friend" was performed, during opening credits, by Cynthia Fee...
    Andrew Gold's original version charted in 1978 {see next post below}...
    Between 1976 and 1978 Andrew Gold, as a solo artist, had four records make the Top 100 chart; with one reaching the Top 10, "Lonely Boy" at #7 {for 3 weeks} on June 5th, 1977...
    Sadly, Mr. Gold passed away on June 3rd, 2011 at the young age of 59 {heart failure}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 5th 1978, "Thank You For Being A Friend" by Andrew Gold entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #73; and on April 9th it peaked at #25 (for 2 weeks) and spent 15 weeks in the Top 100...
    His father, Ernest Gold, won the 1960 Academy Award for 'Best Musical Score' for 'Exodus'; the covered version of "Exodus" by Ferrante & Teicher peaked at #2 on the Top 100 in 1961...
    His mother, Marni Nixon, dubbed the singing voices for Deborah Kerr in the movie 'The King and I', for Natalie Wood in 'West Side Story' and Audrey Hepburn for 'My Fair Lady' (Ms. Hepburn won the Oscar for 'Best Actress')...
    R.I.P. Mr. Gold (1951 - 2011), his father, Ernest, (1921 - 1999), and his mother, Ms. Nixon, will celebrate her 84th birthday in seventeen days on February 22nd (2014).
  • Esskayess from Dallas, Tx'And when we die and float away
    Into the night, the Milky Way
    You'll hear me call, as we ascend
    I'll see you there, then once again
    Thank you for being a friend.'
  • Camille from Toronto, OhA lot of people still watch the Golden Girls but just don't admit it! This song will forever be associated with the TV show. It's just like the theme song to Cheers where 'you wanna go where everybody knows your name'. All you have to do is hear the first six words and you think of the show.
  • Steven from Waynesboro, VaThere was a good reason for those depressing tunes of the late 70s.
    The whole nation was not in good shape at the time.
    We had Watergate, Vietnam had just ended, the economic and diplomatic mess of Jimmy Carter.
    Wasn't much to be happy about.
  • Cindy from Tempe, AzBill in Southeastern Florida: the song Rocky wasn't about a woman named Rocky; the husband's name is Rocky. Listen closer to the words: "and she said Rocky I've never been in love before/never had a baby before/never had to die before, don't know if I can do it". She's not singing to herself.
  • Amandass from Buckley, WaWhats great about this song is, when you put one of your friends up to karaoke it without their knowledge, they go up there expecting some Metallica and this starts. HAHA! More cool is when said friend knows the words to this song!
  • Jesse from Haddam, CtI freakin love it when they sing that song for the Golden Girls!
  • Bill from Southeastern Part Of, FlDon't forget Andrew Gold's hit Lonely Boy, a song that was eternally playing on my alarm clock radio when it went off at 8 a.m. each morning at camp throughout the summer of 1976. Ugh. Perhaps, I should have changed the station. This song, if you haven't heard it, is about a boy who was the center of his parents' attention until his new sister came around, and he freaked out. It's not one of my favorite songs, mainly because I don't like those depressing 1970s songs that tell weird stories, for example, The Blind Man In The Bleachers (The only way for his father to see him play football was for his father to die and watch from Heaven), Rocky (not Stallone, but a woman named Rocky who dies and her husband is sad because his daughter looks so much like his dearly departed wife), Run Joey Run (A father hates his daughter's boyfriend, so he tries to shoot him, but he misses and kill his daughter by mistake), Living Next Door To Alice (This guy secretly loves his next door neighbor Alice. One day, Alice gets into a limo and she's gone)...you know, those depressing songs that can be found on many of the Have A Nice Day CD collections. And these songs were hits! Weren't there any non-dysfuncional people in the 1970s?
  • Dave from Pomeroy, OhAndrew recorded and toured as part of Linda Ronstadt's band
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