Andrew Gold, L.A. musician was 59

Andrew Gold, who died Friday at home in Encino, had serious roots in the Los Angeles music scene. His father, Ernest Gold, won an Oscar for his score on the 1960 film "Exodus." His mother, Marni Nixon, sang for Natalie Wood in the movie of "West Side Story" and for Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady." Gold himself was a student at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood in the 1960s when Linda Ronstadt and her band the Stone Poneys performed there. He struck up a conversation with Ronstadt, and later joined her new band. "It was clear from the beginning that I was going to be a musician,” Gold told the Los Angeles Times in 1977. On Saturday, Ronstadt told the paper "Andrew was so enormously talented it almost seemed effortless. He was a real cornerstone of those early records." From tonight's New York Times obit:

Mr. Gold’s combination of instrumental versatility and songwriting skill gave him a prominent if sometimes invisible role in shaping the Los Angeles-dominated pop-rock style of the 1970s. In addition to his instrumental and arranging work for Ms. Ronstadt’s breakout 1974 album, “Heart Like a Wheel,” Mr. Gold was a much sought after musician whose guitar and piano work (he also played bass and drums) helped define the seamless texture of recordings by artists like James Taylor, Carly Simon, Maria Muldaur, Jackson Browne and Loudon Wainwright III.

Though he was considered a masterly musician, he never learned to read music. “We gave him lessons on piano and guitar, but somehow he found it easier to just listen to something and play it by ear,” said Mr. Gold’s mother, the singer Marni Nixon.

His solo hit records included “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You for Being a Friend.” Gold suffered from renal cancer.

After the jump:"Lonely Boy" and a little taste of Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys.

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