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|Birth name||Gerald Linford Beckley|
September 12, 1952 |
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, harmonica|
|Labels||Warner Bros., Capitol, Rhino, American Gramaphone, Oxygen, Burgundy|
|Associated acts||America, Carl Wilson|
Beckley was born to an American father and an English mother. He began playing the piano at the age of three and the guitar a few years later. By 1962, Beckley was playing guitar in The Vanguards, an instrumental surf music band in Virginia. He spent every summer in England and soon discovered 'British invasion' music.
Start of America
In 1967, Beckley's father became the commander at the United States Air Force base at West Ruislip, near London. Gerry attended London Central High School in Bushey, Hertfordshire, where he played in various school bands and met his soon-to-be bandmates, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek. Originally, the group played on Friday nights at the local American teen club, mostly doing acoustic covers of Crosby Stills and Nash tunes. The original drummer was a classmate, Dave Atwood.
Beckley wrote and sang America's 1972 top ten hit "I Need You" and its 1975 number one hit "Sister Golden Hair" (also number one on Billboard, in 1975) as well as its top 20 followup "Daisy Jane." He also sang their 80s top ten hit "You Can Do Magic."
Beckley continues to write and record music both as a solo artist and with other musicians along with Bunnell. With Bunnell, Beckley continues touring worldwide as "America".
In the 1990 John Waters film Cry-Baby, Beckley, Andrew Gold, and Timothy B. Schmit appeared as Baldwin and the Whiffles, performing "Mister Sandman", "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane," and "Sh-Boom".
Beckley has worked with a wide variety of musicians on many projects. In the mid 1970s, he collaborated with David Cassidy on Cassidy's critically acclaimed RCA albums; co-writing and dueting and even co-producing. One of the most notable is the 2001 recording Like a Brother, performed with Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, and Robert Lamm of Chicago.
In May 2006, Beckley released another solo album, Horizontal Fall.
Beckley is also a member of Les Deux Love Orchestra.
Beckley, who is twice divorced, has two sons, Matthew and Joe. Matthew is also a musician; he has toured with Katy Perry and has worked with other artists, including Ke$ha, Britney Spears. Joe is an aspiring photographer in the Los Angeles area. Beckley now splits his time between homes in Venice, California and Sydney, Australia.
- Gerry Beckley - Van Go Gan (1995)
- Gerry Beckley - Go Man Go (2000)
- Beckley, Lamm & Wilson - Like A Brother (2000)
- Gerry Beckley - Horizontal Fall (2006)
- Gerry Beckley - Happy Hour (2009)
- Gerry Beckley - Unfortunate Casino (2011)
- Gerry Beckley - Carousel (due September 9, 2016)
- Mike Hugg - Somewhere (1972)
- Dan Fogelberg - Souvenirs (1974)
- David Cassidy - Home Is Where the Heart Is and Getting It in the Street (Both released in 1976)
- Ricci Martin - Beached (1977)
- Rick Danko - Rick Danko (1977)
- Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)
- Dave Mason - Mariposa De Oro (1978)
- Jimmy Webb - Angel Heart (1982)
- Various Artists - Cry Baby – Original Soundtrack (1990)
- Modern Folk Quartet - Highway 70 (1995)
- Various Artists - For the Love of Harry – Everybody Sings Nilsson (1995)
- Robert Lamm - In My Head (1999)
- Jeff Larson - Room for the Summer (2000)
- Jeffrey Foskett - Twelve And Twelve (2000)
- Les Deux Love Orchestra - Music From Les Deux Cafés (2001)
- Jeff Larson - Fragile Sunrise (2002)
- Low - Trust (2002)
- Robert Lamm - Subtlety And Passion (2003)
- Jeff Larson - Sepia (2004)
- Low - Great Destroyer (2005)
- Les Deux Love Orchestra - King Kong (2005)
- Brian Wilson a.o. - One World Project (2005)
- Bill Mumy - With Big Ideas (2006)
- Les Deux Love Orchestra - Ecstasy (2008)
- Al Jardine - A Postcard From California (2009)
- Jeff Larson - Heart of the Valley (2009)
- Les Deux Love Orchestra - Planet Claire 3D Maxi-Single (2009)
- Nick Vernier Band - Sessions (2010)
- America, It's a group with no theme, says singer
- Episode Seven Spicks and Specks
- Concert Blogger - Gerry Beckley debuts new album