Jim Seals, of '70s Soft Rockers Seals and Crofts, Dies at 80

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jun 7, 2022

Jim Seals — the American musician and songwriter known best as one half of '70s soft rockers Seals and Crofts — has died. Seals' death was confirmed Monday (June 6) by friends and relatives, though a cause of death was not revealed. He was 80.

The artist's cousin Brady Seals, the former frontman of country outfits Little Texas and Hot Apple Pie, wrote on Facebook, "My heart just breaks for his wife Ruby and their children. Please keep them in your prayers. What an incredible legacy he leaves behind."

John Ford Coley, who performed as a duo alongside Seals' late younger brother, "England" Dan Seals, wrote in a respective post, "This is a hard one on so many levels as this is a musical era passing for me. And it will never pass this way again, as his song said ... You and Dan finally get reunited again. Tell him and your sweet momma hi for me."

After Seals formed the duo with Dash Crofts in 1969, Seals and Crofts scored a series of chart hits in the 1970s. Chief among them is 1972's "Summer Breeze," with its wistful main melody and chorus harmonies remaining a staple of both summertime playlists and AM radio dials.

"Summer Breeze" would famously get a rock 'n' soul revamp by the Isley Brothers in 1974, and has also been reinterpreted by the likes of Type O Negative, Jackie Mittoo, Ramsay Lewis, the Main Ingredient, Peter Bjorn and John, Jason Mraz and more. "Diamond Girl" and "Get Closer" would follow in 1973 and 1976, respectively. Along with "Summer Breeze," both those singles peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In the decade between 1970 and 1980, Seals and Crofts would release 10 studio albums, a soundtrack LP and a greatest hits collection, and were dropped from their label home, Warner Brothers, following the release of 1980's The Longest Road. The two would reunite for performances in 1991, only to again disband a year later. In 2004, the duo teamed up to record and release that year's Traces, their first new album since 1980.

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