Sister Golden Hair

"Sister Golden Hair" is a song written by Gerry Beckley and recorded by the band America for their fifth album Hearts (1975). It was their second single to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, remaining in the top position for one week.[2]

"Sister Golden Hair"
Sister Golden Hair - America.jpg
Single by America
from the album Hearts
ReleasedMarch 19, 1975
GenreFolk rock, soft rock[1]
LabelWarner Bros. 8086
Songwriter(s)Gerry Beckley
Producer(s)George Martin
America singles chronology
"Lonely People"
"Sister Golden Hair"
"Daisy Jane"
"Sister Golden Hair" on YouTube


Beckley says "There was no actual Sister Gold Hair."[3] The lyrics were largely inspired by the works of Jackson Browne. Beckley commented, "[Jackson Browne] has a knack, an ability to put words to music, that is much more like the L.A. approach to just genuine observation as opposed to simplifying it down to its bare essentials... I find Jackson can depress me a little bit, but only through his honesty; and it was that style of his which led to a song of mine, 'Sister Golden Hair', which is probably the more L.A. of my lyrics."[4] The band previewed the song for Browne while touring together with the singer, at whose suggestion the lyric originally written as: "Will you meet me in V.A." - referring to Virginia - became "Will you meet me in the air".[5] Beckley adds that "Sister Golden Hair" "was one of the first times I used 'ain't' in a song, but I wasn't making an effort to. I was just putting myself in that frame of mind and I got those kind of lyrics out of it."[4]


Gerry Beckley said he played the 12-string guitar, and overdubbed the prominent slide guitar. "I had a lovely lap steel that David Lindley had picked out."[3]

Music videoEdit

The music video for the song is of the band performing the song on The Midnight Special, a popular musical television show.

Chart performanceEdit


  1. ^ "Explore: Soft Rock | Top Songs | AllMusic". 2011-11-12. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  2. ^ "The Hot 100 : Jun 14, 1975 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Zollo, Paul (March 26, 2020). "Behind the Song: "Sister Golden Hair" by America". American Songwriter. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b Corbett, John (May 29, 2004). America Revisited - Part 3,
  5. ^ Hartford Courant 25 August 2000 "Pop Group America Marks 30 Years With Three-Disc 'Highway' Anthology, Tour Stops in Connecticut" by Roger Catlin p.D3
  6. ^ " – America – Sister Golden Hair". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  7. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1975-06-07. Retrieved 2019-11-09.
  9. ^ " – America – Sister Golden Hair". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "America Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  11. ^ "America Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book Billboard/Cash Box/Record World 1954-1982. Sheridan Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
  13. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 24, No. 14, December 27, 1975". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1975/Top 100 Songs of 1975". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1975". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-17.

External linksEdit