Classic folk rockers America anniversary show at Belleayre

Highmount — America, a band that dominated radio airwaves throughout the 1970s and whose signature folk-rock sound still resonates today, will bring its hit-filled 40th Anniversary Tour to the Belleayre Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m.

Chart-toppers like “Horse With No Name,” “Ventura Highway” and “Sister Golden Hair” helped define a musical era. America recorded 11 hit singles and 17 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums, making it one of the most successful bands of the era.

Founding members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell are in the midst of America’s 40th Anniversary Tour that rocks with hits from start to finish.

The band’s first album, “America,” was released to popular acclaim. “A Horse With No Name” struck a chord with listeners and the album catapulted to the top of both U.K. and U.S. charts by April 1972.

After their first big tour the band’s homesickness had reached epic proportions for Gerry and Dewey, who were sons of U.S. Air Force officers stationed in the United Kingdom. With offers coming in from “across the pond,” the band bolted for the States. The aptly titled “Homecoming” was released in November of 1973. The first single “Ventura Highway” was in the Billboard Top Ten within a month. In the same period, America won the coveted Best New Artist Grammy Award.
The group's third album, “Hat Trick,” yielded the hit singles “Tin Man” and “Lonely People.” America then returned to the number one slot on Billboard's charts with the release of “Sister Golden Hair” from “Hearts” in 1975. In the same year, the group’s first compilation History/America's Greatest Hits” also achieved success on the charts.

In 1982, America released “View From the Ground.” The song, “You Can Do Magic” spent five weeks in the Billboard Top Ten.

In 1991, Beckley and Bunnell went back into the studio to record new tracks for a retrospective compilation. The release of “Encore: More Greatest Hits,” put America solidly in the public consciousness once again. America has continued to tour extensively, delighting audiences with a spirited live show.

Upcoming shows
The Belleayre Music Festival continues on Saturday, Aug. 21 with: ’50s Dance Party “The Day the Music Died” - The music of Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens; Saturday, Aug. 28: Belleayre Festival Opera - Rossini’s Cinderella (“La Cenerentola”); Sunday, Aug. 29; Children’s Opera Theater “Three Little Pigs” and Saturday, Sept. 4: Aaron Neville Quintet featuring Charles Neville.
Tickets for all shows in the 2010 summer concert season at the Belleayre Music Festival, are on sale via Ticketmaster. For additional information, please call 800 942-6904, ext. 1344, visit: www.belleayremusic.org or e-mail: festival@catskill.net.