Seals And Crofts

The duo of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were one of the most popular soft rock acts of the 70s. The pair were both from small Texas towns and met as teenagers, playing in local bands. They first worked together in 1958 when drummer Crofts joined a band called Dean Beard And The Crew Cuts, with whom Seals was playing guitar. As a local group, they recorded a number of singles that did not chart. When Beard was asked to join The Champs, who were riding high on the success of their number one instrumental hit "Tequila", Seals and Crofts came along, relocating to Los Angeles. They stayed with the Champs until 1965, when Crofts returned to Texas. The following year, Seals hooked up with a group called The Dawnbreakers, and Crofts returned to Los Angeles to join as well. It was here that Dash Crofts met his wife, Billie Lee Day, and was introduced to the Baha'i faith, which both he and Jim Seals converted to in 1969.

Following the split of The Dawnbreakers the pair decided to try their luck as a duo. Seals played guitar, saxophone and violin, and Crofts played guitar and mandolin. They secured a recording contract with the Talent Associates label and released two largely ignored albums, although 1970's "Down Home" did reach the charts and led to a label change to Warner Brothers Records. Their first attempt for Warner Brothers only brought another failure, but their second album for that company, 1972's "Summer Breeze", went to #7 on the U.S. charts and the title single reached #6. A second single from the album, "Hummingbird" made it to #20. The following year brought their best-selling album, "Diamond Girl", from which the title song reached #6 and the follow up, "We May Never Pass This Way Again" went to #21.

Seals and Crofts were devout followers of their chosen faith and insisted that they be given time after each concert to speak to interested fans about Baha'i. Dash Crofts' wife's sister wrote a poem after viewing a documentary on abortion, which Jim Seals put to music. The result was an anti-abortion song called "Unborn Child", written from the view point of the fetus. Against the advice of Warner Brothers Records, the duo used the title for their 1974 album, which rose to #14, but the single stalled at #66. The song also brought out many pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrations to their concerts.

Their popularity on the radio continued and their next LP, 1975's "I'll Play For You" went to #18 on Billboard's album chart and the title song reached the same spot on the Hot 100. The following year, the album "Get Closer" could only get as high as #37, but the single of the same name went to #6. By now, Seals and Crofts had become a staple of easy listening FM radio, but their 1976 live album "Sudan Village" stalled at $73. The pair was then approached to contribute to the sound track for the Robby Benson movie One On One, from which their single "My Fair Share" became yet another Top 30 hit, reaching #28 in the Fall of 1977.

Their final Top 20 entry on the singles chart came in 1978 in the form of a song called "You're In Love", which climbed to #18, but the album from which it came, "Takin' It Easy" went no further than #78. Their final studio LP came later that year, but didn't even crack Billboard's Top 200 album chart. Their long and successful run had come to a halt. Warner Brothers soon canceled their contract, but as they have both indicated in later years, it didn't really matter to them. The time had come for Seals and Crofts to concentrate on other things, especially their religious faith. Over the next few years the pair performed together only a few times. A brief reunion tour was held in 1991-1992 and they played at some Baha'i related gatherings. Dash Crofts moved to Mexico, then Australia and then Nashville, where he enjoyed a series of hit Country singles. Jim Seals moved to a coffee farm in Costa Rica, while his brother Dan Seals enjoyed his own recording success as one-half of England Dan And John Ford Coley.

In 1998, Dash Crofts released a solo album called "Today", consisting of new versions of the duo's old material. In the Spring of 2003, Seals and Crofts had gotten back together to record a new CD called "Traces", featuring re-worked arrangements of their former hits as well as some new material. The pair appeared intermittently in 2004 and 2005, but Seals was more often seen with his brother Dan and sons Sutherland and Joshua, who billed themselves as Seals and Seals from '02 to '08. Sadly, Dan Seals, passed away on March 25th, 2009 at the age of 61.

In later days Jim Seals was still active with musical projects with other Baha'i musicians and the musical projects of his children, while still operating a coffee farm in Costa Rica and maintaining a residence in Tennessee. He remained friends with Dash Crofts, who lived in Texas, raised Arabian horses, and still made occasional singing appearances. Both Jim and Dash said that they had no plans to re-unite, but their daughters, Juliet Seals and Amelia Crofts, used the name Seals and Crofts for their own musical act in 2011.