Dan Peek

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Dan Peek
Peek performing in 1972
Peek performing in 1972
Background information
Birth nameDaniel Milton Peek
Born(1950-11-01)November 1, 1950
Panama City, Florida, U.S.
DiedJuly 24, 2011(2011-07-24) (aged 60)
Farmington, Missouri, U.S.
GenresFolk rock, soft rock, country rock, contemporary Christian
InstrumentsVocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, harmonica
Years active1969–2011
LabelsWarner Bros., Lamb & Lion
Associated actsAmerica

Daniel Milton Peek (November 1, 1950 – July 24, 2011) was an American musician best known as a member of the folk rock band America from 1970 to 1977, together with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell.[1] He has been called a "pioneer in contemporary Christian music".[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Peek was born in Panama City, Florida, on November 1, 1950, while his father was in the U.S. Air Force.[1]

When Peek was a young boy, he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and had to be hospitalized for weeks 100 miles (160 km) away from the family home; his parents could only visit occasionally. Peek remembered this experience when, about a year before he died, he decided to dispose of five of his vintage guitars. Because the Ronald McDonald Houses exist to provide housing for families of hospitalized children close to hospitals around the United States and the world, Peek donated these five guitars to the San Diego house, which were subsequently sold to a collector, resulting in a $50,000 donation.[4]

Peek moved to England in 1968 with his family when his father was assigned to a base in London, meeting Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley at London Central High School.[3]

Beginning in 1963, Peek was educated at London Central Elementary High School at Bushey Hall in North London. In 1973 he married Catherine Maberry,[5] with whom he would write a number of songs, including "Lonely People".[6] He published an autobiography entitled An American Band, based on America's most successful period, and his own spiritual journey.[7]



After a brief stint at Old Dominion University in Virginia during 1969,[8] Peek returned from the U.S. back to London. Soon afterwards, the three former London Central High School classmates Peek, Beckley, and Bunnell began making music together. Known for singing the high harmonies, Dan Peek contributed lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and harmonica to their recordings during his tenure in the band.[8] As a member of America, Peek wrote or co-wrote four Top 100 singles: "Don't Cross the River" (No. 35), "Lonely People" (No. 5), "Woman Tonight" (No. 44), and "Today's the Day" (No. 23), all of which he also sang lead on. "Lonely People" and "Today's the Day" also hit No. 1 on the Billboard AC charts.[5]

Peek abused alcohol and other drugs during his time touring with the band and elected to leave shortly after America's February 1977 release of the Harbor album, disenchanted with the travel, recreational drug use and female groupies.[8] 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.[1]

Contemporary Christian music[edit]

Years of life on the road with America had taken a toll on him.[7] He renounced drugs and alcohol, renewed his Christian faith, and began 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.[7]

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 Los Angeles 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.[9] At the 22nd Grammy Awards, the album was nominated, losing in the Contemporary Gospel category to The Imperials album Heed the Call.[2]

Peek waited five years before releasing a second solo album, 1984's 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.[10] 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".[11]

Peek spent much of the 1990s in semi-retirement, occasionally recording music at his home in Bodden Town, Grand Cayman Island.[7] 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 died in his sleep of fibrinous pericarditis on July 24, 2011, at age 60 at his home in Farmington, Missouri.[1][12] He was interred in Farmington's Zolman Cemetery.


Year Single / Track CCM








Album Notes
1979 "All Things Are Possible" 1 1 78 6 All Things Are Possible 13 weeks at No. 1.
Grammy Award nomination.[17]
"The Star" On This Christmas Night (various artists) produced by Chris Christian
1980 "Ready for Love" 7 All Things Are Possible
1981 "Divine Lady" 23 25
1984 "Doer of the Word" 2 2 Doer of the Word backing vocal by Gerry Beckley
"Redeemer" 26 produced by Chris Christian
1985 "Holy Spirit" 39
1986 "Lonely People" 2 1 Electro-Voice No. 1 four weeks.
Remake of America's 1975 hit.
"Electro Voice" 7 33
"Sleep Baby Jesus" Christmas Greetings (various artists)
1987 "A New Song" 18 Electro-Voice
"Cross Over" 13 17 Cross Over
"I Will Not Be Silent" 24
1988 "My American Dream" non-album single
"Love Was Just Another Word" The Best of Dan Peek (compilation) backing vocal by America
1989 "Living Water" Light of the World[18] with Ken Marvin and Brian Gentry
1997 "Summer Rain" Peace Peace (with Marvin and Gentry)
1999 "Bodden Town" Bodden Town
2000 "On Wings of Eagles" Under the Mercy Peace (with Marvin and Gentry)
"Mary's Boy Child" Caribbean Christmas instrumental
2001 "Driftin' " Driftin' Tales From The Lost Islands
2002 Singles (compilation)
"Guitar Man" Guitar Man
2003 "I Spent the Summer South of the Border" Release the Endorphins[19] with The Endorphins
2006 "Refugee-Song" Guitar Man II digital download
2007 "All American Boy" All American Boy
2008 "Velvet Elvis" Meet the Endorphins[20] with The Endorphins
2011 "Kiss Me on the Waves" Steps on the Water Etcetera featuring Dan Peek
2012 Greatest Hits digital download, compilation
Christian Artists Series: Dan Peek, Vol. 1
Christian Artists Series: Dan Peek, Vol. 2
Christian Artists Series: Dan Peek & Friends (various artists)
Christmas with Dan Peek and Friends (various artists)
2014 "Endless Flight" (remix) non-album single[21] Remix by Laredo
2018 "Right Now" (remix) Peace Revisited Remix by Marvin and Gentry
2019 "Still Love You" (remix)
2020 "Blue Skies, Blue Eyes" (remix)


  1. ^ a b c d Lewis, Randy (July 27, 2011). "Dan Peek dies at 60; founding member of the band America". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "America singer Dan Peek dies aged 60". BBC News. July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Dan Peek, Co-Founder of America, Dead at 60". Billboard. July 26, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 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.
  4. ^ "A first for Navy ship: Baby born on board". U-T San Diego. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Margalit Fox (July 26, 2011). "Dan Peek, of the Rock Band America, Dies at 60". The 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. ...
  6. ^ "Lonely People" compositional info, ASCAP. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d "Dan Peek". The Daily Telegraph. London. July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Graff, Gary (July 26, 2011). "Dan Peek, Co-Founder of America, Dead at 60". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  9. ^ Salter, Jim (July 28, 2011). "Dan Peek, singer on 'Horse With No Name'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  10. ^ Dan Peek recording Doer of the Word with Gerry Beckley and Chris Christian in LA on YouTube.
  11. ^ Electro-Voice at AllMusic. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Tijs, Andrew (July 26, 2011). "Dan Peek of America Dies at 60 - Undercover.fm News". Undercover.fm. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  13. ^ "– Hot hits: Christian hit radio : 20 years of charts, artist bios, and more". CCM Creative Ventures. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  14. ^ "– CCM Hot Hits: AC Charts 1978-2001". 1st Book Library. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "– US Billboard Music Charts". Billboard. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  16. ^ "RPM Adult Oriented Playlist" (PDF). RPM. Library and Archives Canada. p. 1. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  17. ^ "1980 Grammy Awards". Awards and Shows. p. 1. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  18. ^ "Marvin & Gentry with Dan Peek - Light of the World - Amazon.com.com Music". Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  19. ^ "Release the Endorphins". cactustom.com. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  20. ^ "Meet the Endorphins". cactustom.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  21. ^ "Dan Peek Featuring Laredo - Endless Flight (remix)". youtube.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.

External links[edit]