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Gerald Linford Beckley (born September 12, 1952) is an American singer, songwriter and musician, and a founding member of the band America.[1]

Gerry Beckley
Birth nameGerald Linford Beckley
Born (1952-09-12) September 12, 1952 (age 66)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
GenresRock, acoustic
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, harmonica
Years active1967–present
LabelsWarner Bros., Capitol, Rhino, American Gramaphone, Oxygen, Burgundy
Associated actsAmerica, 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 AmericaEdit

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 on TopPop in 1972

America signed a recording contract with the British division of Warner Bros. Records and found success in 1972 with "A Horse with No Name."

Beckley wrote and sang America's 1972 top ten hit "I Need You" and its 1975 number one hit "Sister Golden Hair" 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".

Solo projectsEdit

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.

In March 2007, Beckley appeared as a guest on the Australian musical quiz TV show Spicks and Specks.[2]

On April 14, 2007, Beckley appeared as a special guest at a Ben Kweller show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne, Australia. Beckley, Kweller, and the band performed "Sister Golden Hair" together.

Beckley debuted his 2016 Blue Elan Records solo album Carousel on September 7, 2016 with a live performance at the Whisky A-Go-Go in Hollywood, California.[3]

Beckley is also a member of Les Deux Love Orchestra.

Personal lifeEdit

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.[4][5] Joe is an aspiring photographer in the Los Angeles area. Beckley now splits his time between homes in California and 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 (2016)[6]

Sessions (selection)Edit


  1. ^ "Eugene Register-Guard - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Spicks and Specks: episode guide - Episode Seven (21/03/2007)". Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  3. ^ "Gerry Beckley debuts new album Carousel live at the Whisky A-Go-Go - Concert Blogger". Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  5. ^ "Matt Beckley - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  6. ^ "Blue Élan Records". Retrieved July 27, 2017.

External linksEdit