Sister Golden Hair – America

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………………on June 14th of 1975 America achieve their second Billboard number one record and their seventh Top 40 hit with “Sister Golden Hair”. America’s first single, “A Horse With No Name,” went to #1 in 1972. That song was written by Dewey Bunnell, who formed the band in 1970 with Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek (the group became a duo when Peek left in 1977). In 1975, they scored another #1 with “Sister Golden Hair,” another enigmatic track with lots of harmony. It was written and sung by Beckley, who says that it was based on a composite of different girls. Beckley made a demo of this song before America recorded their fourth album, Holiday, but he was happy with the songs they chose for that album so “Sister Golden Hair” sat on the shelf for a year, making the cut for their next album, Hearts. George Martin, who was The Beatles producer, produced this track and the rest of the Hearts album (he started working with America on their previous album, Holiday). It was Martin’s 20th US #1 as a producer, and his first away from The Beatles (by this point, each former Beatle had reached #1 outside of the group). Martin would have three chart-toppers: “Ebony and Ivory,” “Say Say Say” and “Candle In The Wind ’97.” This was recorded at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California. The engineer on the session was Geoff Emerick, who worked with George Martin on much of The Beatles output. Beckley played lap steel guitar on this track. He explains that the musical influence came from George Harrison. “I very openly tip my hat there to ‘My Sweet Lord,'” he said. “I was such a fan of all The Beatles but we knew George quite well and I just thought that was such a wonderful intro.” The song was not released as a single in the UK.