Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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