Dan Seals, CMA Award Winner, Dies


Dan Seals photo by Larry Dixon, courtesy of allmusic.com.

March 26, 2009 — Dan Seals, who amassed 11 No. 1 country singles as a solo performer in 1980s and ‘90s, died Wednesday after a long bout with cancer, The Tennessean reported.

Dan’s easy-going nature was well represented in a smooth voice that fit some of the most infectious releases of his era. His recording of the nostalgic "Bop" won the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year award in 1986, the same year he and Marie Osmond claimed Vocal Duo of the Year for "Meet Me In Montana." Both songs were penned by singer-songwriter Paul Davis, who died last April.

Long before Jewel, Jessica Simpson and Darius Rucker attempted transitions from pop music to country, Dan had one of the most successful shifts ever into the genre. He had previously established himself as one-half of the pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, which earned a gold record with its first single, "I’d Really Love To See You Tonight," in 1976. The pair went on to cut such hits as "Sad To Belong," "Nights Are Forever" and the Todd Rundgren-penned "Love Is The Answer" before parting ways.

Dan released his first country single — "Everybody’s Dream Girl," written with BlackHawk founders Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson — in 1983. The following year, "God Must Be A Cowboy" led him to country’s Top 10 for the first time, and in 1985, "Meet Me In Montana" began a phenomenal run in which 11 of 12 consecutive releases hit the top of the Billboard chart. Those successes included uplifting hits such as "I Will Be There," "Love On Arrival" and the Sam Cooke-written "Good Times," as well as such emotional ballads as "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)," "Addicted" and "You Still Move Me."

Dan was just one success story in a very musical family. Brother Jim Seals was a member of the pop duo Seals & Crofts, uncle Chuck Seals wrote the Ray Price standard "Crazy Arms," cousin Johnny Duncan had his own solo country hits in the ‘70s and cousin Troy Seals authored familiar songs by Willie Nelson, Randy Travis and Vince Gill. Nephew Brady Seals has been a member of both Little Texas and Hot Apple Pie.

Dan had an unusual distinction in 1990 as the music industry shifted from the LP to CDs: His Love On Arrival was the first Capitol Records country album not released on vinyl.