|Birth name||Gerald Linford Beckley|
|Born||September 12, 1952|
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, harmonica|
|Labels||Warner Bros., Capitol, Rhino, American Gramaphone, Oxygen, Burgundy|
|Associated acts||America, 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.
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 Hall in north west London, 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 wrote and sang America's 1972 top-10 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-10 hit "You Can Do Magic".
Beckley continues to write and record music both as a solo artist and with other musicians. With Bunnell, Beckley continues touring worldwide as "America".
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, singing, and co-producing. From 1992 to 1997 he collaborated with Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, and Robert Lamm of Chicago, culminating with the 2000 release of Like a Brother, Wilson's final recordings before his death in 1998.
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. In April 2007, he appeared as a special guest at a Ben Kweller show in Melbourne, Australia. Beckley, Kweller, and the band performed "Sister Golden Hair" together.
Beckley is also a member of Les Deux Love Orchestra.
Beckley 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 and Britney Spears. Joe is an aspiring photographer in the Los Angeles area. Beckley, now married to an Australian, splits his time between homes in California and Australia.
See also America discography