Dan Peek, who provided much of the vocal work for the 1970’s soft rock group, America, has died at the age of 60. Strangely, he was also found dead in his bed like Amy Winehouse was earlier this week. His lifeless body was found by his wife.
During the early part of the 1970’s, America had a big string of top ten hits with songs like the haunting “Horse With No Name”, “Tin Man”, “Ventura Highway”, “Sister Golden Hair”, “I Need You” and more. Despite the success of the band, Peek decided to leave the act in 1977 and became a contemporary Christian music artist, although as a solo act he never achieved the level of success of his former band.
The band was formed from three sons of American military fathers married to British mothers stationed on U.S. Army bases in the UK. George Martin who produced some of the biggest hit recordings for The Beatles was so impressed with the act that he produced their recordings for years.
If you grew up in the early 70’s and listened a lot to radio, America no doubt became a part of your life and your record collection. They were a very good top 40 soft rock act, sort of comparable to a top 40 version of C,S,N&Y in some ways, except with nonpolitical songs. Peek’s death is deeply sad. There was no news of any illness or health condition he suffered from.