Gerry Buckley and Dewey Bunnell, the duo behind hit folk-rock band America, have thrilled music lovers nationwide for nearly 50 years. To finish off Community Concerts’ 83rd season, America will perform at the Crown Coliseum on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m.
Buckley, Bunnell and former band member Dan Peek met in London in the 1960s. The trio formed their chart-topping group shortly after graduating high school and have since released 11 hits and six Gold or Platinum albums.
Today, America is comprised of just Buckley and Bunnell, but it is still going strong. According to Michael Fleishman, Community Concert attractions director, audiences can expect “hit after hit after hit” at the April 4 show. “It’s a really interesting group (with) a really interesting sound,” Fleishman said. “They’re not just well-known in this country, but worldwide.”
Hits such as “Ventura Highway,” “Tin Man” and “A Horse with No Name” gave America its reputation as a rock standard. Fleishman is excited to welcome such a well-known band to the stage. “If you’ve been on the planet any length of time, you’ve heard these songs … every single one of them,” he said. “These are classic rock songs, and it’s a group we’ve never had before … one we’ve looked at several times.”
From winning a Grammy award for best new artist in 1973 to being inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006, it’s no wonder the band is so highly sought after. America has collaborated with the Beatles’ George Martin, Toto’s Jeff Porcaro, the Eagles’ Timothy B. Schmit and more.
A short ceremony commemorating the newest inductee into the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame will precede America’s performance at the Crown. “Community Concerts is the creator and the producer of the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame,” Fleishman said. “It’s going into its 12th year, (and has) done nothing but grow in stature and popularity over the years.”
The Hall of Fame was designed to honor those that have brought musical distinction to this community, said Fleishman. Members include local citizens as well as national celebrities, such as Randy Boone. The organization continues to add to their number every year.
“We’ve honored music teachers, people from the Cape Fear Regional Theatre, churches for what they have done musically and for children, the Cape Fear Oratorio Singer and the 82nd Airborne Chorus for all they’ve done,” Fleishman said.
Known as Fayetteville’s oldest art organization, Community Concerts has lived up to its name for 83 years. “We try very hard to put the ‘community’ in Community Concerts,” said Fleishman. “(We’ve) done a lot over the years showcasing local artists onstage in combo with the artist.”
Community Concerts has a heart not only for aspiring musicians but also for children of all backgrounds. “We showcase kids onstage — we had a local choir in combo as backup for one of the songs for Foreigner, a school onstage as backup for Gladys Knight, and Voices of the Heart (performed).”
The April 4 concert will also include an announcement of this year’s recipient of Community Concert’s annual music scholarship, awarded to rising college freshmen in the community who display musical excellence.
The Crown Complex is located at 1960 Coliseum Dr. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit community-concerts.com/2018/08/13/america.