Dan Peek

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Dan Peek
Dan Peek on TopPop 1972.png
Peek performs on the AVRO show TopPop in 1972.
Background information
Birth name Daniel Milton Peek
Born (1950-11-01)November 1, 1950
Panama City, Florida
Died July 24, 2011(2011-07-24) (aged 60)
Farmington, Missouri
Genres Folk rock, soft rock, country rock, contemporary Christian
Instruments Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, harmonica
Years active 1969-2011
Labels Warner Bros., Lamb & Lion
Associated acts America
Website danpeek.com

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


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

When Peek was a young boy, he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, and had to be hospitalized for weeks, 100 miles (160 km) 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 1963 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]


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" (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 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.[1]

Contemporary Christian music[edit]

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.[7] 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[7] 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 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.[citation needed] At the 22nd Grammy Awards, the album was nominated,[2] 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.[8]

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,[citation needed] 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.[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][9] His interment was in Farmington's Zolman Cemetery.


Table Key:
CCM – Contemporary Christian Music Chart
BB – Billboard Pop Singles Chart
AC – Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart
CB – Cash Box Singles Chart

Year Title
Album -------------------------- Single
CCM BB[10] AC[10] CB[11] 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
1981 "Divine Lady" 23 - - - -
1979 On This Christmas Night - - - - Various artists
1979 "The Star" - - - - Produced by Chris Christian
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
1986 "Electro Voice" 7 - - - -
1986 Christmas Greetings - - - - Various artists
1986 "Sleep Baby Jesus" - - - -
1987 Cross Over (album) - - - - -
1987 "Cross Over" 13 - - - -
1988 Best of Dan Peek - - - - Compilation
1989 Light of the World[12] - - - - With Marvin and Gentry
1997 Peace - - - - Peace with Marvin and Gentry
1998 "Summer Rain" - - - - Peace with Marvin and Gentry
1999 Bodden Town - - - - -
2000 Under the Mercy - - - - Peace with Marvin and Gentry
2000 "On Wings of Eagles" - - - - -
2000 Caribbean Christmas - - - - Instrumental
2001 Driftin' - - - - -
2002 Guitar Man - - - - -
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


  1. ^ a b c d Lewis, Randy (27 July 2011). "Dan Peek dies at 60; founding member of the band America". LA Times. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "America singer Dan Peek dies aged 60". BBC News. July 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  3. ^ a b "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. 
  4. ^ "A first for Navy ship: Baby born on board". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  5. ^ a b 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. ... 
  6. ^ "Lonely People" compositional info, ASCAP. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d "Dan Peek". London: Telegraph. July 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  8. ^ Dan Peek recording Doer of the Word with Gerry Beckley and Chris Christian in LA on YouTube.
  9. ^ Tijs, Andrew (2011-07-26). "Dan Peek of America Dies at 60 - Undercover.fm News". Undercover.fm. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  10. ^ a b "– US Billboard Music Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  11. ^ "US Cash Box Charts". CashBoxMagazine.com. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  12. ^ "Marvin & Gentry with Dan Peek - Light of the World - Amazon.com Music". amazon.com. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 

External links[edit]