Dan Peek, co-founding member of America, passes away

July 27, 2011 by Amy Gold

Homecoming by America album cover
"Homecoming" by America album cover

Dan Peek (November 1, 1950 - July 24, 2011), one of the founding members of the band America, passed away last Sunday, July 24, 2011. His wife Catherine reportedly found him dead in their home in Farmington, MO. The cause of Peek's death is as yet unknown.

Dan Peek is pictured on the far left of the 1972 "Homeward Bound" album cover shown here. Peek was a member of America from 1970 to 1977 and contributed lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and harmonica. America debuted in 1972 with "A Horse With No Name" which topped the charts. Since then, the band released a long string of hits through 1983 which also included the chart-topping "Sister Golden Hair" (1975).

Peek was born in Panama City, FL on November 1, 1950 and had lived in Farmington, MO since 1978. Growing up, his father was in the Air Force, and the family moved frequently. In the late 1960s, he met Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell in London where the three co-founded America. Peek left the band shortly after the February, 1977 release of the "Harbor" album and went on to record Christan rock. In 1979, he released his debut solo album, "All Things Are Possible." This album reached #1 on the Contemporary Christian Music Charts and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Peek wrote a memoir, "An American Band: The America Story."

Dan Peek's funeral will be held next Monday at the Presbyterian Church in Farmington, MO.