|Daniel Milton Peek|
Peek in 1976
November 1, 1950|
Panama City, Florida
|Died||July 24, 2011
|Genres||Folk rock, soft rock, country rock, contemporary Christian|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, harmonica|
Lamb & Lion
Daniel Milton "Dan" Peek (November 1, 1950 – July 24, 2011) was a musician best known as a member of the soft rock band America from 1970 to 1977, together with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell. He was also a "pioneer in contemporary Christian music."
He was born in Panama City, Florida on November 1, 1950 while his father was in the U.S. Air Force. He moved to England in 1963 with his family when his father was assigned to a base in London, meeting Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley at London Central Elementary High School.
Peek contributed lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and harmonica to their recordings during his tenure in the band. As a member of America, Peek wrote or co-wrote four Top 100 singles: "Don't Cross The River" (#35), "Lonely People" (#5), "Woman Tonight" (#44), and "Today's the Day" (#23), all of which he also sang lead on. "Lonely People" and "Today's the Day" also hit number 1 on the Billboard AC charts.
Peek abused alcohol and other drugs during this period. In 2004 he released an autobiography about that era entitled An American Band: The America Story which was very difficult for him to write because of the bad memories it brought up.
Contemporary Christian music
Peek left the band shortly after the February 1977 release of the Harbor album. Years of life on the road had taken a toll on him. He renewed his Christian faith and had begun to seek a different artistic direction than Beckley or Bunnell. He went on to sign with Pat Boone's Lamb & Lion Records and found modest success as a pioneering artist in the emerging Christian pop music genre.
Peek's debut solo album, All Things Are Possible was released in 1979. Chris Christian co-wrote, produced, and contributed acoustic guitar and backing vocals on the album. The title track reached the Billboard charts, making the Top 10 in the A/C Billboard chart and number 1 in the Christian charts, becoming one of the earliest contemporary Christian music crossover hits. Another song on the album, "Love Was Just Another Word", was recorded in LA and written by Chris Christian and Steve Kipner. Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell contributed the background vocals. This was the last time the three original members of America recorded together. (According to Peek and Bunnell, Peek joined the group to perform a few songs during a concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, in 1983. However, this has not been substantiated by published sources, and those audience members who have posted online about the show say they don't remember seeing Peek there.) At the 22nd Grammy Awards, the album was nominated, losing in the Contemporary Gospel category to The Imperials album Heed the Call. Peek followed "All Things Are Possible" with "Doer of the Word", which hit number 2 in the Christian charts. Gerry Beckley contributed background vocals, which were recorded at Chris Christian's studio in Los Angeles while Peek was there.
Peek waited five years before releasing a second solo album, 1984's Doer of the Word. 1986 saw the release of his Electrovoice album, again to the CCM market, which included a remake of "Lonely People", featuring a very similar lead vocal treatment and overall arrangement to the original America version. He changed some of the song's lyrics to reflect his Christian faith, for example the lines "And ride that highway in the sky" and "You never know until you try" became "And give your heart to Jesus Christ."
Peek spent much of the 1990s in semi-retirement, occasionally recording music at his home in Bodden Town, Grand Cayman Island. He released several solo projects and collaborated with Ken Marvin and Brian Gentry as "Peace" on three albums. In the years before his death, Peek released music via his website. His last musical collaboration was performing lead vocal on a track on the 2011 album Steps On The Water by Etcetera.
Peek was born in Panama City, Florida. Beginning in 1963, Peek was educated at London Central Elementary High School at Bushey Hall in North London. In 1973 he married Catherine Maberry, with whom he would write a number of songs, including "Lonely People". He published an autobiography entitled An American Band, based on America's most successful period, and his own spiritual journey.
CCM – Contemporary Christian Music Chart
BB – Billboard Pop Singles Chart
AC – Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart
CB – Cash Box Singles Chart
Album -------------------------- Single
|CCM||BB ||AC ||CB ||Comments|
|1979||All Things Are Possible (album)||-||-||-||-||Produced by Chris Christian|
|1979||"All Things Are Possible"||1||78||6||95||13 weeks at number 1. Nominated for a Grammy award.|
|1980||"Ready for Love"||-||-||-||-||7 Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart|
|1979||On This Christmas Night||-||-||-||-||Produced by Chris Christian|
|1979||"The Star"||-||-||-||-||"On Christmas Night" Christmas song|
|1984||Doer of the Word (album)||-||-||-||-||Produced by Chris Christian|
|1984||"Doer of the Word"||2||-||-||-||Backing vocal by Gerry Beckley|
|1985||"Power and Glory"||-||-||-||-||-|
|1986||Electro Voice (album)||-||-||-||-||-|
|1986||"Lonely People"||2||-||-||-||Remake of Peek’s 1975 hit with America|
|1987||Cross Over (album)||-||-||-||-||-|
|1988||Best of Dan Peek||-||-||-||-||Compilation|
|1989||Light of the World||-||-||-||-||With Marvin and Gentry|
|1997||Peace||-||-||-||-||Peace with Marvin and Gentry|
|1998||"Summer Rain"||-||-||-||-||Peace with Marvin and Gentry|
|2000||Under the Mercy||-||-||-||-||Peace with Marvin and Gentry|
|2000||"On Wings of Eagles"||-||-||-||-||-|
|2006||Guitar Man II||-||-||-||-||Digital Internet release|
|2007||All American Boy||-||-||-||-||Digital Internet release|
|2012||Greatest Hits||-||-||-||-||Digital Internet release - Compilation|
|2012||Christian Artists Series: Dan Peek, Vol. 1||-||-||-||-||Digital Internet release - Compilation|
|2012||Christian Artists Series: Dan Peek, Vol. 2||-||-||-||-||Digital Internet release - Compilation|
|2012||Christian Artists Series: Dan Peek & Friends||-||-||-||-||Digital Internet release - Compilation with Various Artists|
|2012||Christmas With Dan Peek and Friends||-||-||-||-||Digital Internet release - Compilation with Various Artists|
- Lewis, Randy (27 July 2011). "Dan Peek dies at 60; founding member of the band America". LA Times. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "America singer Dan Peek dies aged 60". BBC News. July 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- "Dan Peek, Co-Founder of America, Dead at 60". Billboard magazine. July 26, 2011. Retrieved 2012-10-10. "Peek was born in Panama City, Fla., to a U.S. Air Force officer father. He moved to England in 1963 when his father was assigned to a base there, meeting Bunnell and Beckley at London Central High School. Peek and Beckley played in a band called The Days, and after Peek left to attend Old Dominion University in Virginia, Bunnell took his place."
- Margalit Fox (July 26, 2011). "Dan Peek, of the Rock Band America, Dies at 60". New York Times. "Dan Peek, an original member of the rock band America who later forsook the group for a life in Christian music, died on Sunday at his home in Farmington, Mo. He was 60. ..."
- "Dan Peek". London: Telegraph. July 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
- Dan Peek recording "Doer of the Word" with Gerry Beckley and Chris Christian in LA, YouTube.
- Tijs, Andrew (2011-07-26). "Dan Peek Of America Dies At 60 - Undercover.fm News". Undercover.fm. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
- "Lonely People" compositional info, ASCAP. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- "– US Billboard Music Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- "US Cash Box Charts". CashBoxMagazine.com. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- Official website
- Dan Peek at AllMusic
- Dan Peek at the Internet Movie Database
- Official America Homepage
- Official America fans page
- Obituary of Dan Peek, The Daily Telegraph, 27 July, 2011
- Dan Peek Autopsy Report, ParklandNews.com