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Dewey Bunnell(guitar, vocals, drums)
Gerry Beckley(guitar, vocals)
Dan Peek(guitar, vocals)1969-1977

Artistfacts for America

  • Every member of the band graduated from the same high school in 1969: London Central High School in England. Their fathers were US servicemen who were stationed there.
  • Dewey Bunnell is the only British member. Gerry Beckley was born in Fort Worth, Texas and Dan Peek was born in Panama City, Florida.
  • America got their name from a Wurlitzer "Americana" juke box. In an interview with Dewey, he said that one of the reasons for picking the name "America" was that a new successful band called Chicago did well, and he said, "I thought we'd go for the country." (thanks, Dave - Phoenix, AZ)
  • The group is unusual in that the roles of the three members were highly interchangeable, as they could all play an array of instruments. Most of their songs were written by either Bunnell or Beckley, and whoever wrote the song would typically sing it.
  • Gerry was in a band called Daze (or Daze of London), which once competed in a battle of the bands with Genesis, a band with Dan. Using a PA system, Genesis won, but shortly thereafter Dan left to join Daze, which later evolved into America. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for all above)
  • Peek left the group in 1977 after becoming a born-again Christian. He went on to make religious records, while Beckley and Bunnell continued as a duo.
  • America did the soundtrack to Rankin Bass's classic animated film The Last Unicorn. (thanks, Ashleigh - Jacksonville, FL)
  • One of their first performances was in England at the Rainbow Theatre (the old Finsbury Park Astoria) in London, a long time before they released "A Horse With No Name." They were supporting the band Family. They sat simply on three stools in front of the curtain, with no accompaniment and when they finished the audience didn't want them to stop. (thanks, patti - Tewkesbury, England)
  • America is known for their soft rock sound. This genre gained popularity after the breakup of The Beatles. The music is usually highly orchestrated and heavy on ballads. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • Peter Clifton, who directed the Led Zeppelin concert film The Song Remains the Same, also directed Live In Central Park, which was the first and only America concert film, taken from the last show on their world tour. The film has been released on DVD with the sound enhanced. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • They got their first big break from Jeff Dexter, a concert promoter who owned the Roundhouse, a popular nightclub. He was so impressed by them that they became the opening act for some of the most successful artists ever (including Elton John and the Who).
  • Their second album was called Homecoming, and their next five albums all started with the letter H. The next one was a wink to breaking this tradition - it was called Silent Letter.
  • The acclaimed songwriter Jimmy Webb is the godfather to Beckley's first son.
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Comments: 7

Gerry said he likes Italian food and his favourite car is his Italian sports car. Dewey sometimes likes steak. Their favourite place to play includes Italy. America is the best band in the history of music.Frank - South Salem, Ny
I love the beautiful and acoustic melodies that manage not to sound like pure banalities like a large part of what is called "soft rock" (especially later examples of the genre. It's true that Dewey's lyrics tend to be a little.....well, opaque. And even the thought of their recording Muskrat Love makes me cringe. But I still listen to their music regularly today.Staley - Dallas, Tx
While I was growing up in Cincinnati, OH, America became a popular band and I clearly remember they were described on the radio station I listened to at the time as a band whose band members originally met while they were members of the marines fighting in the Vietnam war.Jeffrey - Joshua, Tx
The group asked Beatles producer George Martin to produce their second album in Los Angeles. Martin said the only way he'd do it is if they came to his London studio, and finished it in two weeks. They agreed, and actually finished the album in only 10 days. Martin was so impressed with them and their professionalism that he agreed to go to LA for the subsequent albums he produced for them.Ken - Louisville, Ky
America is one of my all-time favourite bands!!
(My fave songs are Tin Man, Ventura Highway and Sister Golden Hair :D )
Katie - Melbourne, Australia
When Horse with no Name was heavily played on the radio and a number one hit, Neil Young's father phoned Neil to congratulate him on his success.
No Kidding...really happened
Dean - Vancouver, Canada
America is such a great band. I'm suprised that I'm currently the only one to comment on this. The band is as good as the country!Smith - Manchester, Nh
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