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America

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London, United Kingdom

America is a band, most popular in the early and mid 19 and now best known for their #1 hits “A Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair.” Comprised of Gerry Beckley (September 12, 1952 - ), Dewey Bunnell (January 19,1952 - ), and Dan Peek (November 1, 1950 - July 24, 2011), they were seldom a favorite with critics, but were exceptionally successful commercially selling both singles and albums. Despite the presence of other heavyweight acts like James Taylor and Rod Stewart on their roster, America was Warner Brothers Records’ biggest selling act of the 1970s.

Sons of American fathers and British mothers, their fathers being military personnel stationed at the West Ruislip USAF base in London, all three attended London Central High in Bushey, Hertfordshire in the mid-60s where they met while playing in two different bands.

They eventually got together and formed the rock band America, honoring the name of the homeland they had hardly even seen during their several travels around the world. They played their first gigs in pubs and clubs in the London area, including some highlights at the Roundhouse, where Pink Floyd had been playing at the beginning of their own career.

Their first LP was recorded at Trident and Morgan studios in London and produced by Ian “Sammy” Samwell, who was known for the hits he had written for Cliff Richard, with the assistance of Jeff Dexter.

The album was initially released in Europe with only moderate success and without the breakout hit “A Horse With No Name.” Samwell helped the group to record and persuaded the Warner Brothers label to release the new song on an EP which was highly popular in the United States as well as in Europe.

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