America – “Sister Golden Hair”

This song takes me back to my teen years, the sockhops at school, dancing, sing and having a blast with my friends.  Even though it’s been years ago, this music makes everything feel as though it was yesterday. I’ve always loved the whining sound of the guitar in this song. It has a George Harrison sound to it.  I wasn’t sure what it was called so I did some research and read that it’s called a slide guitar. That’s cool to know. The song was on America’s album ‘Hearts.’ The former Beatle producer George Martin produced this album. Gerry Beckley wrote “Sister Golden Hair,” America’s second and final number-one hit. Beckley played lap steel guitar on this track. He told Songfacts that the musical influence came from George Harrison. “I very openly tip my hat there to ‘My Sweet Lord,'” he said. “I was such a fan of all The Beatles but we knew George quite well and I just thought that was such a wonderful intro.” 

Sister Golden Hair” is a song written by Gerry Beckley and recorded by the band America for their fifth album Hearts (1975). It was their second single to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, remaining in the top position for one week.

Background

Beckley says “There was no actual Sister Gold Hair. The lyrics were largely inspired Cby the works of Jackson Browne. Beckley commented, “[Jackson Browne] has a knack, an ability to put words to music, that is much more like the L.A. approach to just genuine observation as opposed to simplifying it down to its bare essentials… I find Jackson can depress me a little bit, but only through his honesty; and it was that style of his which led to a song of mine, ‘Sister Golden Hair’, which is probably the more L.A. of my lyrics.” The band previewed the song for Browne while touring together with the singer, at whose suggestion the lyric originally written as: “Will you meet me in V.A.” – referring to Virginia – became “Will you meet me in the air”. Beckley adds that “Sister Golden Hair” “was one of the first times I used ‘ain’t’ in a song, but I wasn’t making an effort to. I was just putting myself in that frame of mind and I got those kinds of lyrics out of it.

Gerry Beckley said he played the 12-string guitar and overdubbed the prominent slide guitar. “I had a lovely lap steel that David Lindley had picked out.

The music video for the song is of the band performing the song on The Midnight Special, a popular musical television show.

Credit: Wikipedia.org

Song Lyrics – 

Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain’t ready for the altar but I do agree there’s times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
Now I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

Doo wop doo wop …

Written by Gerry Beckley
Credit: Songfacts

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