'The Golden Girls' Producers Wanted a Bette Midler Tune for the Theme Song, But It Was Too Expensive

The Golden Girls theme song is nearly as iconic as the show itself. As soon as those words, “Thank you for being a friend,” reach ears, memories of the sitcom come flooding back. There was Sophia’s quick tongue, Dorothy’s deadpan, Blanche’s flirtatious disposition, and Rose’s nonsensical St. Olaf tales. All four characters (and their on-screen chemistry) made for one of the most successful shows — a show that has entered a class of “iconic TV.” Yet, as for the famous theme song, it was not the producers’ first pick. Producers initially wanted an appropriate Bette Midler tune to introduce the women. 

‘The Golden Girls’ producers wanted Bette Midler’s ‘Friends’ as the sitcom’s theme song 

Bette Midler’s “Friends,” after a slow-paced introduction, is an upbeat and catchy tune about the importance of friendship in life. The song warms the heart with a message perfectly suited to the TV series. The main line — “you got to have friends” — repeats throughout the song. 

One verse in particular likely would have made the cut — when Midler discusses “standing at the end of the road…waiting for new friends to come,” as the four women wind up together late in life, sharing rent in Miami, Florida.

What went wrong? According to FoxNews, those behind the show discovered the song was too expensive when they approached the publishing company behind the hit tune. But then, someone remembered Andrew Gold’s “Thank You For Being a Friend.” 

Cynthia Fee came into the recording studio and got the job done in a jiffy 

As FoxNews explained, The Golden Girls producers licensed the song and hired a singer, Cynthia Fee, to come in and record it. While she booked a one-hour session, she got the job done in two takes, in under 30 minutes. While the recording artist — who hasn’t done much else — likely didn’t plan to think about the song after the fact, she has the show to thank for putting her kids through college, as FoxNews explained.

The recording artist makes a quick buck every time the song gets played, and with The Golden Girls reruns on all the time, Fee has managed to make a handsome sum on about 30 minutes of work. Fee’s work outside the show is limited, but also includes a duet with Kenny Rogers called “I Don’t Want To Know Why.” And, she’s the voice behind older Hoover Vacuum Cleaner commercials, a Last.FM notes. 

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