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America's Website



To hear more great music from this
wonderful band, get America CD's at
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Biography


The folk-rock trio America formed in Watford, England in 1968. Vocalists/guitarists Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley met while they were still in high school. All three were sons of U.S. Air Force officers who were stationed in the U.K. After they completed school in 1970, they formed an acoustic folk-rock quartet called Daze in London, which was soon pared down to the trio of Bunnell, Peek, and Beckley.

Adopting the name America, the group landed a contract with Jeff Dexter, a promoter for the Roundhouse concert venue. Not long after, Dexter had America opening for Elton John and Cat Stevens and the group soon signed with Warner Brothers Records. By the fall of 1970, the group was recording their debut album in London, with producers Ian Samwell and Jeff Dexter. The first single release, "A Horse With No Name," immediately rose to the top of the charts. Once their debut album had become a huge success, America returned to the studio to record the follow up album. In the studio, they were assisted by session musicians on bass and drums. "Homecoming" soon became another massive success for the group, America.

During their concerts in Europe and America, it became clear that they needed drums and bass for their concerts. The group started to look for just the right musicians. They met David Dickey, and soon he became the bass player for the band. During the recording of their third album, Hat Trick, Hal Blaine, who already had played on the Homecoming sessions, joined the band. Unfortunately, due to his work as a session musician, he could not join the band full time.

After the release of Hat Trick, America was introduced to George Martin, the former producer of the Beatles, in 1974. He had always really liked America's music and already had a few ideas to enrich the sound of the group. Martin produced the next album in England. During this same period of time, the band met Willie Leacox, a drummer who really fit into the direction that they were moving toward, musically. Now America was able to play all of the instruments they needed while on the road - they could now reproduce their studio sound in a "live" setting.

With Martin, they became superstars. Although he gave the group all the freedom it needed to express their artistic tallent, he also used his vast studio expertise to fine-tuned the final arrangements. The first result of their collaboration was the album, Holiday, and the album became America's biggest success to date. Their next joint album, Hearts, repeated this success, and the single "Sister Golden Hair" climbed to the top of the charts all over the world.

When the record company decided to release History Of America (a "Best Of..." album) in 1975, Martin remixed some of their older recordings to make them sound "fresher." For the next several years, America was very busy performing live or recording new material - the group seemed to be everywhere!

In 1975, Dickey could not go to Europe with the band, so he was temporarily replaced by Calvin Samuels who had played with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the early seventies. During their tour of Europe, America also found the time to perform on the German TV show, Musikladen. This concert was eventually released on a special video and audio CD in 1995. The concert was also released on DVD several years later in 2001.

In 1976, Beckley, Bunnell and Peek added Jim Calire (keyboards and saxophone) and Tom Walsh (percussion) to the line-up. In 1977, Peek left the group to start a solo career while America continued on as a six-piece unit. During another tour in 1977, their first without Peek, they recorded an album which was later released as America Live.

At the beginning of 1978, Mike Woods joined the band to add an additional guitarist to the mix. The first release featuring the guitar work of Woods was a recording of the old Mamas and Papas song, "California Dreaming." This track was recorded for the soundtrack to the film of the same name.

In 1979, Live in Central Park became the last album that America had to record for Warner Brothers. This left Bunnell and Beckley free to start looking for a new recording contract. After signing with Capitol Records in 1979, they went into a recording studio to record their first album for the new label, Silent Letter.

In 1980, Calire and Walsh left the group and America continued, now as a quintet. The band's association with Martin also ended in 1980 as Bunnell and Beckley wanted to explore new ways of producing their sound and music. They did not bring their backing band into the studio, but, instead, selected well known musicians to accompany them. Percussionist Willie Leacox was the only actual group member to continue to record with the band. Matthew McCauley and Fred Mollin were the new producers for these sessions. The resulting album, Alibi had the typical sound of America but without Martin's trademark "orchestra sounds." These recording experiences led to the idea to transfer this fresh new fresh sound to their concerts. Leacox and Woods stayed in the new line-up, but Dickey, who wanted to record his own compositions, left the band and joined a band known as Blue Steel. For the following tour, Bryan Garofalo joined the group, but, due to his studio commitments, could not join America permanently.

In 1981, Brad Palmer, who had worked with Andrew Gold and Wendy Waldman in the past, joined the group as their new bass player. For the next recordings, all members of America went into the recording studio along with many session musicians. This same process was repeated for all of the other studio sessions the band did during the remainder of the eighties. If one listens to the live recordings which were recorded during the eighties (King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents America In Concert in 1982 and America In Concert in 1985), it is difficult to understand the reasons for this decision, as the live recordings in most cases sounded far better than the studio sessions.

Although they still performed a few concerts now and then after 1985, America seemed to have retired from recording until 1993 when Rhino Records asked the band to record several new songs for a "Best Of..." compilation that they were planning. Encore featured some of these new recordings. The five musicians really enjoyed their new experiences in the studio so well that they decided to become active again. In 1994, they released their first new album in almost ten years - Hourglass. The next album, Human Nature, was released in 1998. In 2000, Rhino released a 3-CD retrospective covering the band's entire career. This compilation even included some unreleased demo recordings. In 2001 another "Best of..." album was released and, once again, included a few new recordings.

In 2002, America returned to its well known creativity. During the summer concert period, they recorded a live album, which was released as the Grand Cayman Concert. At almost the same time, they recorded a Christmas album, Holiday Harmony, together with Andrew Gold. Gold not only produced the album but also played all of the instruments.

Palmer had left the group at the end of 2002, and America had to look for another bass player. Dewey and Gerry did not want to rush things up, so they asked a few friends to temporarily sit in with them. When America returned to the stage in January of 2003, bass player, Trent Stroh had joined the band. Stroh remained with the group during January and February of 2003.

By April of 2003, the group had found their new bass player. In an interview with John Beaudin of Smooth Jazz Canada, Beckley made some remarks concerning the bass players who had recently played with America: "We have had an interesting few months, because we have had a couple of good friends filling in during our touring schedule. Both Chas (Frichtell) and Trent (Stroh), who have been filling in, have just been fantastic. Any time there is new blood it adds a little energy. We then went through the audition process and picked a guy named Richard Campbell. He is no secret to L.A. players as he was with Natalie Cole for years and also with Three Dog Night."

America has had a very busy 2004 so far. They’ve taken their show to Hawaii, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Paris, Rome, and Milan, to name a few! They had two sold out shows at the Sydney Opera House which they’ve also recorded for a new live DVD. They are looking forward to a very busy summer concert schedule.









A Special Message Of Caring From Gerry Beckley & Dewey Bunnell:

Gerry and Dewey have joined with artists from around the world to record a song called "Grief Never Grows Old" to benefit the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunamis. Some of the other artists participating are Boy George, Cliff Richard, Steve Winwood, Robin and Barry Gibb, Gary Moore, Bill Wyman, Brian Wilson and many, many more.

The single will be released soon under the name "One World Project" and proceeds will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee which is coordinating the British relief effort.

Our hearts reach out to those hurt by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis.






Here you go!
America

In the summer of 2004, we had the privilege to meet and see Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and band, better known as America, in concert. These men put on a most memorable two-hour show that included all of the hits along with some very beautiful new music that they have recently penned. Their songwriting, musicianship and vocal magic was really quite amazing and was every bit as good as it was some thirty four years ago. The band reproduced their trademark studio harmonies flawlessly and can really rock too! These gentlemen were also extremely warm, funny and gracious before, during and following the concert. After seeing this band perform again after all of these years, it's very easy to see why they have been so successful at such a high level for all of these years. Long live America!




Get your favorite America albums here at Amazon.com






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AMERICA ON THE ROAD

For Concert Dates:
(Click Here)







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Discography:


1971
America
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1972
Homecoming
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1973
Hat Trick
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1974
Holiday
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1974
On The Road - America/Eagles Live
(Bootleg)
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1975
Hearts
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1975
History - Greatest Hits
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1975
Greatest Hits: Best of America
(Taiwan Import)
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1975
America's Golden
(Bootleg)
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1976
Hideaway
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1977
Harbor
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1977
America Live
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1979
Silent Letter
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1980
Alibi
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1981
America's Gold
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1981
Live In Central Park
(Laser Disc/VHS/DVD)
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1982
View From The Ground
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1982
The Last Unicorn Soundtrack
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1983
Your Move
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1984
Perspective
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1985
America In Concert
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1990
The Very Best of America
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1991
Encore: More Greatest Hits
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1991
The Very Best
(Italian Import)
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1992
Ventura Highway And Other Favorites
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1994
Hourglass
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1995
America In Concert
(King Biscuit)
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1995
Van Go Gan
(Gerry's Solo Album)
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1995
Horse With No Name
(Music/Video CD)
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1995
Live In Germany '95
(German TV)
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1996
You Can Do Magic
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1996
Premium Gold Collection
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1996
Centenary Collection
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1997
Heard (Home-Rolled)
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1998
Human Nature
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1998
Best of MusikLaden: America
(DVD/VHS)
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1998
The Legendary America
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1998
A Horse With No Name
(German Import)
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1999
America
(2 CDs)
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1999
Greatest Hits
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1999
Live In Germany '99
(German TV)
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2000
Live
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2000
Go Man Go
(Remix of Gerry's Van Go Gan)
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2000
Highway: 30 Years of America
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2001
Hits You Remember Live
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2001
The Definitive America

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2001
The Complete Greatest Hits

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2001 Homecoming
(DVD-Audio)
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2001
In Concert - Ohne Filter
(German DVD)
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2001
The Last Unicorn
(German Import)
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2001
Live At Santa Barbara
(German Import)
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2002
Ventura Highway
(Dutch Import)
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2002
Anthology #1 CD-ROM
(Russian MP3 Compilation)
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2002
Anthology #2 CD-ROM
(Russian MP3 Compilation)
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2002
Holiday Harmony
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"Let It Snow"
"White Christmas"
"A Christmas To Remember"
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
"Winter Wonderland"
"Sleigh Ride"
"Silent Night"
"Silver Bells"
"Winter Holidays"
"It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas"
"Christmas in California"
"Frosty The Snowman"
"The First Noel"

2002 The Best of the Beat-Club Live:
America
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2002 The Grand Cayman Concert
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2004
America In Concert
Live At The Sydney Opera House
(DVD)
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2004
A Horse With No Name And Other Hits
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2004
Struttin' Our Stuff
(German CD)
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Very nice gentlemen...

A band that is just as good and just as professional today
as they were in their beginnings during the early seventies!









© Association Admiration Aggregation, 1997 - 2017