Honored - Volume 1
A Horse With No Name -- Restless
This album was a "home-rolled" compilation of several covers of songs that were also performed by America. John Corbett compiled the songs and burned CDs with them for other fans back in 1999. John also wrote the liner notes for this CD and they are included here in their entirety:
A Horse With No Name (Restless) One would think that America's sound might not lend itself well to dance music. This inspired 1996 cover by Restless puts such thoughts to rest. Rolf Berg's vocals bear such an uncanny resemblance to Dewey's original that some might think this song is a remix rather than a remake. Even with the dance beat and synthesizers, the song manages to stay faithful to the feel of the original.
I Need You (Jeremy Jackson & America) Best known as David Hasselhoff's teenage son Hobie on the popular TV series "Baywatch," Jeremy Jackson has also had success as a recording artist in Europe. Jeremy's musical background as a Christian rapper is evident in this 1994 cover of "I Need You," in which Dewey and Gerry sing backing vocals, and America cohorts Steve Levine, Mark Holden, and Hank Linderman assist with production.
Sandman (Citizens' Utilities) Citizens' Utilities, a Seattle rock quartet which has been jokingly called "the most unphotogenic band in America," provides us with this explosive rendition of America's classic album track, "Sandman," from their 1998 album, Sunbreak. Music to sleep by!
Ventura Highway (Johnny & The Wheezetones) This charming 1996 remake of "Ventura Highway" comes straight out of Lincoln, Nebraska, the home of Johnny & The Wheezetones. The Wheezetones are professionals by day (computer programmer, lawyer, etc.), and a harmony quartet by night, performing classics by America, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the Doobie Brothers, to name a few. Their name comes from the fact that two of the members have asthma.
Don't Cross The River (Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver) Doyle Lawson revitalized bluegrass harmony vocals when he formed his acclaimed band Quicksilver in 1979. As part of their debut album that year, they paid homage to Dan Peek's classic, "Don't Cross The River," by reworking it into an energetic bluegrass tune. Much like Dan, Doyle Lawson has also recorded various Christian albums over the years and his music is still in demand.
Head And Heart (John Martyn) This John Martyn song was the first cover America ever recorded for an album, appearing on the Homecoming LP. Martyn, a renowned folk singer in his own right, first recorded this song on his 1972 album, Bless The Weather. Martyn and America first crossed paths while staying at producer Ian Samwell's London house during the early '70s.
Muskrat Candlelight (Willis Alan Ramsey) No, this isn't a typo. This was the name given to this song when it was first written and recorded by Willis Alan Ramsey, an Austin, Texas, folk singer whose lone 1972 album has become the stuff of legend. Over the years, his songs have been recorded by artists such as Waylon Jennings and Jimmy Buffett. It was America which rechristened the song "Muskrat Love."
Tin Man (Walter Marsh) New Age artist Walter Marsh turns a pop classic like "Tin Man" into a gentle, atmospheric melody alongside such timeless tunes as "Puff The Magic Dragon" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on his 1999 album, Lullabyes. Notice how Marsh carefully weaves every detail of America's version, from the harmonies to the strumming of guitars, into his own instrumental interpretation.
Lonely People (Ric-O-Chet) Not to be confused with the country group of the same name, Ric-O-Chet has drawn rave reviews from numerous bluegrass watchers as one of the finest groups in the genre today. Hailing from western North Carolina, Ric-O-Chet recorded this heartwarming rendition of Dan's "Lonely People" on their 1994 debut album. Considering Dan's subsequent career in Christian music, it is only natural that Christian-influenced bluegrass groups have come to embrace his style of pleasant harmony songs with a message.
Sister Golden Hair (Jill Olson) Singer/songwriter Jill Olson, formerly of such underground groups as The Stouthearted and The Movie Stars, takes on Gerry's Number One smash hit "Sister Golden Hair" on her 1996 solo album, The Gal Who Would Be King. Not only does this version provide a '90s "unplugged" spin on the classic song, but it also features a female singing unchanged gender lyrics from the original recording. But then this only means something to those who have figured out what the original lyrics were all about.
California Dreamin' (The Mamas & The Papas) This legendary Top Ten hit from 1966 by The Mamas & The Papas is the only song to have been a Top Ten hit before it was recorded by America. Considering America's large repertoire of California-themed songs, it was only appropriate that America would include this song in their concert playlists after originally recording it for the movie "California Dreaming" in 1979.
You Could've Been The One (England Dan Seals) After a successful partnership with John Ford Coley, but before he found renewed fame as a top country artist, Dan Seals struggled to find a niche as a solo artist. England Dan recorded this version of "You Could've Been The One" for his 1980 solo debut, Stones, the same year that America recorded it for Alibi. It is unclear who copied who, or whether they both got the song from a third source. Any way one looks at it, it appears that this song was popular currency among commercially floundering pop artists in 1980.
I Don't Believe In Miracles (Russ Ballard) Contrary to popular belief, "You Can Do Magic" was not the first Russ Ballard song that America covered -- this was. This recording was originally released in 1975, shortly after Russ left the rock group Argent for a solo career. In typical Russ Ballard fashion, this song has become better known by others who sang it, such as America and former Zombies frontman Colin Blunstone, who was the first to record it in 1972. Note that Gerry was wise enough to change the lyric "threw me up" to "tossed me up" in the ball analogy.
I Do Believe In You (Pages) Before Richard Page scored big with Mr. Mister on hits like "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie," he and partner Steve George were struggling to make commercial headway with their first rock group, Pages. Produced by Bobby Colomby, who later produced America's cover of "Right Before Your Eyes," this was the only other song besides "California Dreamin'" to be a hit before America covered it, climbing briefly to #84 in December 1979. Page later provided backing vocals on America's cover version from the following year. In 1984, Sylvester Stallone's brother Frank recorded a cover version of this song as well.
Last Revised: 16 February 2020