Two for Tuesday: America

America only had one song that made the Billboard Top Singles of the Year (“A Horse With No Name” reached #27 in 1972) but I remember they had a whole lot more hits than just that one. They had six singles in the Top Ten in the years between 1970 and 1974, a couple of which went to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Another song, “Muskrat Love,” was a hit for The Captain and Tennille in 1976; it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart that year.

America was Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and, until 1977, Dan Peek. They were famous for their tight vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar sound. An example is “Ventura Highway,” their third single from 1972, which reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was the first single from the group’s second album, Homecoming.

The band’s fourth studio album, Holiday, was recorded in England in 1974 and was their first album produced by Sir George Martin, who worked with them for the rest of the decade. The first single from that album was “Tin Man,” which went to #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary chart.

Dan Peek left America to concentrate on his solo career as a Contemporary Christian musician. He died from fibrinous pericarditis at home in 2011. Beckley and Bunnell have continued as a duo. Most recently, I saw a commercial on TV for a “’70s Cruise” on which they’ll be performing, and are most likely on the “oldies” circuit, although they continue to record, most recently 2015’s Lost & Found.

America, your Two for Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

13 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: America

  1. I love America. They’re the only rock performers I’ve seen more than once. I got to talk to them after one of their concerts and told them when I first saw them (Indiana University; they were touring with James Taylor’s younger brother, whose name I can’t think of now, but he put on a great show, too). They said immediately what year it was and seemed pleased that I’d been following them so long (not like a stalker).



    1. James’ brother was Livingston Taylor, and I’m sure I saw him in the mid-Seventies at a club near Northwestern. Did a beautiful version of “Over The Rainbow,” as I recall.


    1. “Horse with No Name” was a great song to play, because it only had two chords. They weren’t my favorite band, but then I didn’t consider any of their songs EBS Specials, either.

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  2. Didn’t know much about America other than a couple of their popular songs that are on the radio every now and then. Sister Golden Hair and Tin Man are the only two I could have named if you had asked. Good to learn a little more about them as they’re pretty easy to listen to I think.


  3. I know this song well and always liked listening to it. I have no idea what he died from but going to check it out…never heard of it but he was too young.


    1. I tried reading the Wikipedia article on fibrinous pericarditis (also uremic pericarditis) and it sounds like one of those rare diseases that they haven’t figured out a cure for yet.


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