Grammy Award winning America is an American folk and rock band which sings in various genres like country rock, soft rock and folk rock. The original band members were Dan Peek (harmonica, keyboards, bass, guitars, lead and backing vocals), Dewey Bunnell (percussion, guitars, lead and backing vocals) and Gerry Buckley (guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals). The band was on the top of every music chart in the US and the rest of the world in 1970’s. The trio of Buckley, Bunnell, and Peek were in their teenage years when they won the Grammy for best new music artist. Some of their most memorable singles have been “Lonely People”, “Daisy Jane”, “Tin Man”, “Ventura Highway”, “Sister Golden Hair”, “A Horse with No Name” and “You Can Do Magic”. They were such a hit sensation that they attracted the services of George Martin, The Beatles’ producer, for a series of their albums.
The original members of America were sons of British mothers and American fathers. In fact, they adopted the name “America” for their band to honor their paternal heritage. The trio went to the same high school, outside of London. At that time they were playing music in two different bands. It is fair to assume that their early influence was Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. They began their musical career by playing at local clubs in London area. They had the distinction of playing at The Roundhouse Chalk Farm where a legendary band, Pink Floyd, used to play in the beginning of their career. The trio ultimately got signed by the Warner Brothers, UK.
America released its debut album in 1971, which was a huge hit initially in the Netherlands only. Soon after, the trio released more additional singles. One of the singles was called “Desert Song” which was later renamed “A Horse with No Name”. This song was a chartbuster, selling over one million copies. It was also a certified gold by RIAA. This song was added to the debut album and it was re-released. It instantly became a platinum record. The mega success of their debut album encouraged the band to release their second album.
Homecoming was released in 1972. It became a gold record, selling well over million copies. This album marked a shift in the band’s music since the band moved from their mainly acoustic style to rock-music-oriented style. By this time, they had also expanded, adding Willie Leacox on drums and David Dickey on bass guitar. It took the ambitious band only one more year to release their third album, Hat Trick. One of the singles “Muskrat Love” became a top 10 song.
America’s fourth album, Holiday, was released in 1974 under George Martin’s guidance. The album, like its predecessors, was a hit. In 1975, the band’s LP, Hearts, was released. Although, all the songs were hits, but three singles are worth mentioning here: “Woman Tonight”, “Daisy Jane”, and “Sister Golden Hair”. During the same year, Warner Bros. released History: America’s Greatest Hits. As the name suggests it was compilation of the band’s greatest hits. A George Martin produced album, it was a platinum record.
The band’s sixth album, Hideaway, was released in 1976. Once again a commercial success, some of its singles like “Don’t Let It Get You Down”, “Jet Boy Blue”, “Amber Cascades”, and “Today’s The Day”, were extremely popular. Harbor, another album by the band was released in 1977. It was at this time that one of the original members of the band, Dan Peek left the band. Peek has had a successful solo career as Christian music singer. However, Bunnell and Beckley continued with making great music and were back on top of all the music charts in 1982. The band, despite the split, has maintained its loyal fan base. The fact that they still perform over 100 shows per year testifies to the fact that America is still very much in demand.
While the three music magicians may not be together anymore, the dynamic duo of Bunnell and Beckley is still very much around, alive and kicking. The legends of 1970’s bring their magical stuff with them to 2011, as they come to your town in the near future. Do not miss out on their concert, as their performances are sure to provide you with good time. So buy your America Tickets now!
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