|Danny Wayland Seals|
February 8, 1948|
McCamey, Texas, U.S.
March 25, 2009 (aged 61)|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Genres||Country, soft rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, saxophone|
|Labels||Atlantic, Liberty, Capitol, Warner Bros., Intersound, TDC, Lightyear|
|Jim Seals, John Ford Coley, Johnny Duncan, Brady Seals, Troy Seals|
Danny Wayland Seals (February 8, 1948 – March 25, 2009) was an American musician. The younger brother of Seals & Crofts member Jim Seals, he first gained fame as "England Dan", one half of the soft rock duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, which charted nine pop singles between 1976 and 1980, including the No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 hit "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight".
After the duo disbanded, Seals began a solo career in country music. Throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, he released 16 studio albums and charted more than 20 singles on the country charts. Eleven of his singles reached Number One: "Meet Me in Montana" (with Marie Osmond), "Bop" (also a No. 42 pop hit), "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)", "You Still Move Me", "I Will Be There", "Three Time Loser", "One Friend", "Addicted", "Big Wheels in the Moonlight", "Love on Arrival", and "Good Times". Five more of his singles also reached Top Ten on the same chart.
Dan's childhood nickname of "England Dan" was given to him by his brother Jim Seals (later of Seals and Crofts). It was also Jim's idea to incorporate the name "England Dan" into England Dan & John Ford Coley. The nickname was a reference to the fact that, as a youngster, Dan had fixated on the Beatles and briefly affected an English accent.
Dan joined with fellow W. W. Samuell High School classmate and longtime friend John Ford Coley to perform first as part of Dallas pop/psych group Southwest F.O.B. ('Free On Board'), whose material has been re-released on CD by the Sundazed label. As England Dan & John Ford Coley, Seals made use of a nickname he had acquired in childhood for an affected English accent he assumed due to his love of The Beatles. They would have several pop hits in the second half of the 1970s. "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" was the pair's biggest hit, reaching No. 2 in 1976 and becoming their only gold single. Their other hits include "Nights Are Forever Without You" (No. 10 in 1976-77); "It's Sad to Belong" (No. 21) and "Gone Too Far" (No. 23), both in 1977; "We'll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again" (No. 9 in 1978); and their last Top 40 hit, "Love Is the Answer" (No. 10 in May 1979). After seven LPs, they disbanded in 1980 and Seals reinvented himself as a solo country-pop artist, signing with Atlantic Records in 1980.
When Seals signed to Capitol Records in 1983 he shifted to Nashville and began to record as Dan Seals. He initially struggled, but his voice and sentimental manner suited Nashville at a time when country music began to soften its rural styling. Seals' solo career began to turn around with the single "God Must Be a Cowboy", the fourth and final single of his 1983 album Rebel Heart. The song peaked at No 10 on the Billboard Country Singles chart, becoming the first in a string of 16 consecutive top ten and number one singles that stretched to 1990. A 1985 duet with Marie Osmond, "Meet Me in Montana", reached No 1 and Seals followed this with a run of eight chart-toppers. More hits followed, including his 11th country No 1 with a cover of Sam Cooke's "Good Times" in 1990. Just as the pop rock market had changed radically in the 1980s, so did country music in the 1990s with the arrival of Garth Brooks' turbo-charged anthems. Seals devoted more time to his family and his Bahá'í faith, though he continued to record and tour; he performed at the Bahá'í World Congress in 1992.
He kept the name England Dan for his debut album, Stones. Although no single charted on the country chart, his first single ever as a solo artist "Late at Night" did peak at No. 57 on the US Hot 100. Otherwise, it was unsuccessful. His next album, Harbinger, was unsuccessful commercially. None of its singles charted, and he turned his attention to country music and adapted his style to fit country radio's demands while still keeping his signature soft sound. He signed to Capitol Records in 1983.
1983's Rebel Heart, his first album for Capitol, was much more successful than his first two albums. The first single, "Everybody's Dream Girl", peaked at No. 18. The next single "After You", however, charted lower, at No. 28. "You Really Go for the Heart" was even less successful, but still managed to crack the top 40, reaching No. 37. The album's last single, "God Must Be a Cowboy" was much more successful than the album's first three singles, becoming his first top 10 hit in early 1984, at No. 10. The album peaked at No. 40 on the country albums chart, his first album to enter Top Country Albums.
His 1984 album San Antone was even more successful. "(You Bring Out) The Wild Side of Me", the album's first single, reached No. 9. The next single "My Baby's Got Good Timing" became his first Top 5, at No. 2. In early 1985, the album's third and final single "My Old Yellow Car" peaked at No. 9. This album peaked at No. 24 on the country albums chart.
His 1985 album Won't Be Blue Anymore became his most successful studio album, reaching No. 1 on the country albums chart and earning RIAA gold certification. "Meet Me in Montana", a duet with Marie Osmond, became his first No. 1 hit in 1985 and the first of nine straight Number Ones. Written by Paul Davis, the single won the artists the Vocal Duo of the Year Award at the CMA awards in 1986. The album's next single, "Bop", also co-written by Paul Davis, with Jennifer Kimball, became his first solo No. 1 and was named Single of the Year at 1986's CMA awards. After it came "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)", about a rodeo cowboy having to cope with single parenthood (written by Seals and fellow Texan Bob McDill).
Dan Seals released his first compilation album The Best in 1987. All of the songs included on the album were top ten hits. The lone new track "One Friend", which was originally included on 1984's San Antone, was re-recorded for this collection and continued his No. 1 streak. The album peaked at No. 7 and was certified platinum.
1988 saw the release of Dan Seals' Rage On album. The first single, "Addicted", not only became a No. 1 country hit but also got its writer, Cheryl Wheeler, a contract with Capitol Records in 1989. The next single, the truck driving song "Big Wheels in the Moonlight", was released in late 1988, and reached No. 1 in early 1989, becoming his ninth No. 1 single in a row. This streak was broken when the album's third and final single "They Rage On" peaked at No. 5. The album peaked at No. 6, and is the second highest peaking of his albums.
Dan Seals began the 1990s with his eighth album, On Arrival. The first single "Love on Arrival" reached No. 1 in 1990, and stayed there for three weeks. After it came a cover of the Sam Cooke standard "Good Times". This cover was not only his last Number One, but also his last Top 40 hit, as the album's next two tracks ("Bordertown" and "Water Under the Bridge") failed to reach the top 40 in the United States, although they reached the top 40 in Canada.
Dan Seals' second compilation album, titled Greatest Hits was released in 1991. It contained his hits from the albums Won't Be Blue Anymore, Rage On, and On Arrival, along with a new track, "Ball and Chain", which was not released as a single.
By this time, the country music landscape had changed abruptly, and Dan Seals found his style out of favor. He moved to Warner Bros. Records in 1991, and released Walking the Wire. Only three of the five singles released from this album ("Sweet Little Shoe", "Mason Dixon Line", and "When Love Comes Around the Bend") actually charted, but none of them reached the top 40. One other single "We Are One" failed to chart. Additionally, the album failed to crack the top country albums chart.
Although Dan Seals was a touring artist for the rest of the 1990s, he did release a few more albums on smaller labels throughout the decade, such as Fired Up in 1994, his final album for Warner Bros. He signed to Intersound and released In a Quiet Room in 1995, comprising acoustic versions of his earlier hits. He then switched to TDC and released In a Quiet Room II in 1998, followed by Make It Home in 2002.
In the early 2000s, Dan embarked on various tours with his brother Jim (of Seals & Crofts fame), billing themselves as Seals & Seals and performing their successful hits from Seals & Crofts and England Dan & John Ford Coley, Dan's hits from his solo career, and a few original songs written between the two brothers. A few shows featured Jim's sons Joshua on bass guitar and backing vocals and Sutherland on electric guitar. The status of the original recordings is unknown.
In 2008, Seals completed radiation treatments for mantle cell lymphoma at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and received a stem cell transplant at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland. Seals died at the age of 61, on March 25, 2009, at his daughter's home in Nashville.