Dan Seals will be missed, a country western artist who spoke out for unity, understanding and the elimination of prejudice. His family asks that flowers not be sent, rather: “If you want to honor Dan, you should oppose bigotry, intolerance and prejudice.”
I highly recommend his CDs “Alone in a Quiet Room 1 & 2”
from the New York Times
Dan Seals, 61, Pop Duo’s England Dan, Dies
Dan Seals, who performed as England Dan in the folk-pop duo England Dan and John Ford Coley and later returned to his roots as a country singer and songwriter, died Wednesday at his daughter’s home in Nashville. He was 61.
The cause was complications of the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma, said Tony Gottlieb, his friend and manager.
Mr. Seals’s first widespread success as a performer came with the smooth-voiced harmonies of England Dan and John Ford Coley. Their first single, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” reached No. 2 on the pop charts in 1976. The duo had eight more light-rock hits over the next four years, including “Nights Are Forever Without You,” which also reached the Top 10 in 1976.
Mr. Seals enjoyed even greater acclaim in the country field, where he had 11 No. 1 singles from 1985 to 1990. His 1985 hit “Bop,” which crossed over to the pop chart, won the Country Music Association’s award for Single of the Year in 1986. “Meet Me in Montana,” a duet with Marie Osmond, also won honors at the Country Music Association Awards that year.
In the video for his 1989 single “They Rage On,” Mr. Seals, whose Bahai faith taught tolerance and unity, addressed prejudice by depicting an interracial relationship.
As a member, with Mr. Coley, of the Dallas group Southwest F.O.B., Mr. Seals had a minor hit with “The Smell of Incense” in 1968. He sang and played saxophone in the band. His nickname, England, was given to him by his brother Jim.
Danny Wayland Seals was born Feb. 8, 1948, in McCamey, Tex. His father, an amateur guitarist who performed with Bob Wills and Ernest Tubb, worked as a pipeliner in the oil fields of West Texas. Mr. Seals’s older brother, Jim Seals, played in fiddle championships as a child and later had several pop hits as part of the 1970s duo Seals & Crofts.
At his death, Dan and Jim Seals were working on an album, which they planned to release sometime this year.
Here’s a very informative piece from the Dallas News
Dan Seals, Pleasant Grove youth who grew up to be music star, dies at 61
09:29 PM CDT on Thursday, March 26, 2009
By MICHAEL GRANBERRY / The Dallas Morning News
Dan Seals, the kid from Pleasant Grove who emerged as a country music star after performing as one-half of the top 40 hit machine known as England Dan & John Ford Coley, died Wednesday night from complications of lymphoma.
Seals, 61, was born in West Texas but moved to Dallas as a teenager. He graduated from Samuell High School in Pleasant Grove in 1966. He and classmate John Colley, who later changed the spelling of his last name to Coley, formed a group with three other Samuell students called the Playboys Five. That became Theze Few, which morphed into the legendary Dallas high school band Southwest F.O.B.
“We were very popular in the late 1960s,” Coley, 60, said Thursday from his home in Nashville, Tenn., where Seals also lived. “We even opened for Led Zeppelin and Three Dog Night, and remember, we were just high school kids.”
As the friendship blossomed, Seals’ brother Jim was emerging as a musical superstar. Jim Seals was part of the multi-platinum-selling duo Seals & Crofts. But Dan Seals and Coley would soon put their own stamp on music.
They formed England Dan & John Ford Coley and became the toast of 1976 when their single, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” and album, Nights are Forever, became gold records, meaning each sold more than 500,000 copies. The duo also recorded an album titled Dowdy Ferry Road , named after a favorite thoroughfare in their Pleasant Grove neighborhood.
“Dan and I used to go down there and shoot snakes,” Coley said with a laugh.
But as often happens in the high-pressure, big-money industry, the group fractured. England Dan & John Ford Coley lasted from 1970 to 1980, at which point, “there were a lot of different influences coming into us from different people,” Coley said. “And it kind of put a little wedge in there.”
Finally, he said to Seals, “Look, man, we’re on top of this thing, and we’re thinking of calling it, so let’s call it now while we’re still on top. … It was a real loss. Dan and I were more like brothers. It was like having a family rift, where you just don’t speak for a couple of years.”
In 1982, the two saw each other in Dallas. “We sat down and got everything straight,” Coley said.
About that time, Seals moved to Nashville and launched his solo country career. He recorded 16 studio albums and notched more than 20 singles on the country charts, with 11 reaching No. 1. They included “Meet Me in Montana,” with Marie Osmond, “Bop” and “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold).”
Seals contracted lymphoma two years ago.
On Monday night, Coley and Seals shared a final conversation. “We told each other we loved one another,” Coley said. Looking back at pictures of the two, circa 1970, Coley said, “We had that emaciated rock-star look,” but in their case, it wasn’t affected.
“We were so doggone poor,” Coley said. “Dan had an eight-string Martin guitar that had once been a 12-string. He took four strings off because you can boil strings only so many times. We were just broke.”
And then the hits started coming, though they never felt rich.
“We never sat down and thought about having time to spend the money,” Coley said with a laugh. “We just knew they wouldn’t be turning off the telephone that month.”
Seals was married to Andrea “Andi” Gilbert Seals. He was the father of four children and had seven grandchildren. He died at the Nashville home of his daughter, Holley Lizarraga, according to Tony Gottlieb, Seals’ manager since 1979. Gottlieb said the funeral will take place Saturday at the Baha’i Center in Nashville. The family has requested that flowers not be sent.
“If you want to honor Dan,” Gottlieb said, “you should oppose bigotry, intolerance and prejudice.”