Folk Rock Music
Some guys are just not ready for marriage, and this song might be a good explanation (or excuse) for a fella to deliver to his girlfriend. America was formed in England in 1970 with members Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek. Beckley wrote this song for America’s 1975 album “Hearts.” The album was produced by Beatles producer George Martin, and we can hear that right off the bat–the song opens with a lyrical, double-tracked, George Harrison-style slide guitar lick and a very British sounding tambourine backing the classic opening verse.
Even though the singer has cold feet about marriage, he certainly gives a message of love and warmth in a melodic, folk-rock sort of way. The haunting verses are written in the aeolian mode, or natural minor scale, and give way to a standard rock chorus where the singer asks his girlfriend “Will you meet me in the middle?” After the final chorus, the group sings a round of “wop, doo-wop” signaling a happy ending.
Gerry Beckley said the inspiration for the title came from the band: all three of their moms were blondes. Later, America recorded a version in Spanish called “Hermana de Cabellos Dorados.” Gerry Beckley doesn’t speak Spanish, so he learned to sing it phonetically.
“Sister Golden Hair” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June of 1975 but fell off after a week. It remains a classic anthem for all guys who are just a bit queasy about making the Big Commitment.
America formed in London in 1970. Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek met as sons of U.S. Air Force personnel, who were stationed in London. Dan Peek died in 2011. America with numerous touring musicians continue to perform.