The following article is from the June 1986 issue of Contemporary Christian Magazine.
As lead singer of the pop group America, Dan Peek recorded eight albums (all went gold; four went platinum), made numerous television appearances including Bob Hope specials, and penned the international hits "Don't Cross the River" and "Lonely People." His America days also included over 32 stateside tours and three world tours. In the midst of this success, Dan Peek left America. He rededicated his heart, soul, and music to Jesus Christ and vowed to use his abilities to tell others about Him.
The decision to leave America was Dan's first step in honoring a covenant with God that he had made at the age of 19. "I remember praying to the Lord: 'If You will make me a success, I'll use that platform to spread the word about You.'" Within a year, America had gone from rehearsing in a car to having the number one hit "A Horse With No Name." The years after that first hit brought Dan money and fame along with the destructive scene of drugs and other aspects of rock'n'roll living.
"I was completely overwhelmed," Dan remembers. "I began to wonder how I was going to live up to my part of the covenant. After seven years, I was miserable because I had wandered from the Lord, but I still had this tremendous kind of desire."
That tremendous desire combined with conviction about his life style led Dan Peek to leave America and launch a solo career. At this point, Dan began to play out his role in his covenant with God. "I knew I could go back and put my life in order again. I was raised in a Christian home -- and that foundation never leaves you. God had a claim on my life. I knew that no matter what I'd done, I could repent and God would accept me."
In 1979, Dan released the Grammy-nominated solo LP All Things Are Possible, and the title cut charted at number one on the Christian charts and crossed over to the Billboard adult contemporary chart for a record-breaking 34 weeks. His second solo album, Doer of the Word, took its title cut to a number two hit on the MusicLine 40. With this success in the Christian music market, Dan began to tour, drawing listeners from both markets.
"Because I was a Christian before and during America," Dan explains, "the songs that I wrote ultimately had to do with the Lord. I think a song like 'Lonely People' will always be there, and it built a gigantic platform for me to share." A remake of the tune is featured on his latest release, Electro Voice, on the Greentree label. The lyrics have been altered to reflect hope "for all the lonely people / Thinkin' that life has passed them by. / Don't give up until you drink from the silver cup / And give your heart to Jesus Christ."
Dan's current concert program showcases America hits as well as tunes from Doer of the Word and Electro Voice. The Electro Voice LP features Dan's writing ability and is reminiscent of the sound he made popular with America. He has launched a college tour with dates centered in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. The debut college concert was before a packed-out hall of students and vintage America fans. Dan is touring with two back-up musicians, David Peek, his younger brother, on vocals and guitar and Russ Kirkland on vocal and keyboards. A national tour is already in the works for Fall 1986.
When Dan Peek is not touring, he lives on an orchard in Missouri near his parents who established his firm Christian foundation. He writes music that "is a result of me putting down the things that God has shared with me and I with him"; records material in the studio he has built in his home; and continues to work to honor his covenant with God.
"As a Christian, I am a tool to reach others. I'm like most other people; the things I've experienced can have meaning to someone else. Maybe I can speak where others wouldn't be listened to. I want to write songs praising God for all He's done in my life. I've had the wealth the world has to give -- but it doesn't last. It doesn't satisfy. Now I'm looking for something more enduring, the reward in heaven."
-- Page Larson
Last Revised: 12 March 1998