America’s Gerry Beckley On the Challenges With Russ Ballard & Their 80’s Comeback

When the band reached #8 on the Billboard chart in 1982 with “You Can Do Magic” this served as a big comeback for America. It was their first hit since “Today’s the Day” in 1976 (written and sung by Dan Peek who left the band the following year and who we lost in 2011). Ballard wrote and produced that song for the group but Gerry Beckley says the experience had it’s challenges. (Clip 009)

“View From The Ground” was the first album I bought from the band since “Silent Letter” in 1979. That one would be their first studio album after Dan Peek (who we lost in 2011) left the band. I graduated high school in 1979. The album was released that summer as I was trying to figure out how I would afford to leave the small town I lived in to go to Radio school. There was a song called “1960,” the year I was born, on the album and in it Gerry Beckley sings “My reputations on the line at the start of 79.” I felt that he was singing to me and I had to tell him what a huge impact the song “1960” had on me. (Clip 012)

We will have more from our exclusive interview with Gerry Beckley of America next Friday. America are currently on tour. Go to for details – by John Beaudin

John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 35 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.

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