As I’ve stated on this little part of the internet before, I grew up and came of age to music from the 70′s. So I was saddened to read of the passing of Dan Peek, one of the original members of the 70’s folk rock band America. Peek died at his home Sunday of unknown causes. He was 60 years old.

Barely out of their teens, Peek, Gerry Beckley, and Dewey Bunnell became musical sensations and AM radio darlings in 1972 scoring three straight Top 10 hits that year. They would remain a commercial success until Dan quit the band in 1977 over artistic direction and his renewed Christian faith. Here now, as my tribute to Peek and band whose music I love to this day, are America' 5 biggest chart toppers ...

  • 5

    Ventura Highway #8 - 1972


    According to songwriter Dewey Bunnell, the lyric "alligator lizards in the air" is a reference to the shapes of clouds in the sky.

  • 4

    Lonely People #5 - 1974


    Written by Dan Peek. He re-recorded it for his 1986 solo album and changed some of the lyrics to reflect his Christian faith. For example, "And ride that highway in the sky" became "And give your heart to Jesus Christ."

  • 3

    Tin Man #4 - 1974


    The song's title and some of the lyrics reference The Wizard of Oz, writer Dewey Bunell's favorite movie as a kid.

  • 2

    Sister Golden Hair #1 - 1975



    Written by Gerry Beckley, the song is about a guy explaining to his lover that he still loves her but isn't ready to settle down. Beckley has said the title was inspired by the mothers of all three band members, all of whom were blondes.


  • 1

    A Horse with No Name #1 - 1972


    America's first and most successful single, it spent 3 weeks at #1 and was certified Gold with sales of over one million.