Friday, March 27, 2009

RIP Dan Seals

The first headline I saw on this morning announced the death of Dan Seals from lymphoma at age 61.

"Who?", you may be asking. In the 1970s, he was half of the duo England Dan and John Ford Coley; their biggest hit was I'd Really Love To See You Tonight. It was a nice piece of pop fluff, but I was partial to the title cut of the album that song came from, Nights Are Forever. I have a very fond memory of listening to this song on the radio at my grandparents' house; that would've been 1976. Grandmama was still alive, and Granddaddy's mind was not yet lost to dementia. Both of these things had changed by the next summer.

The pop duo lasted into the early 1980s. After they broke up, Dan Seals moved to country music. According to the story, he had eleven #1 songs during his country career, including Bop, Meet Me In Montana (a duet with Marie Osmond), and Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold). He won CMA awards for the first two.

The Dan Seals song that made the biggest impression on me was They Rage On. It's got a gorgeous melody that Seals' voice simply fits, the instrumental arrangement is a perfect accompaniment to the melody, and the lyrics have a melancholy-yet-not-quite-despairing feel. It's the kind of country song that I easily fall in love with. Here, courtesy of Youtube, is the video.

Thank you, Mr. Seals, for some especially poignant recollections.

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