March 25, 2009 – England Dan was born Danny Wayland Seals on February 8th 1948.
He was the younger brother of Jim Seals from the duo Seals & Crofts. 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”Freight on Board”/” F.O.B“, before going under the name of England Dan, and forming the soft rock duo England Dan & John Ford Coley in 1970.
Dan’s childhood nickname was “England Dan” because he was a fan of English rock band The Beatles, and he occasionally adopted an affected English accent. John Colley’s last name was re-spelled “Coley” for ease of pronunciation; “Ford” was added as his middle name for flow purposes, thus England Dan and John Ford Coley.
Both toured the Texas music scene where they had one hit, “The Smell of Incense”, which rose to No. 43 on the pop chart in 1969. This band played on the bill with such acts as Led Zeppelin. While in the band, Dan Seals and John Coley began their own acoustic act, Colley and Wayland. The act was renamed England Dan & John Ford Coley, and the duo signed with A&M Records. In 1971, they moved to Los Angeles where they opened for numerous national and international acts.
Their first break came in 1972, with the song “Simone”. It became a No. 1 hit in Japan and also charted in France, but it did not chart in the US.
The duo was released from its contract with A&M after three albums. Undaunted, the pair continued to press on, stumbling upon the song “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight“, written by a young Mississippi-based songwriter, Parker McGee. They recorded a demo and played it in the office of Bob Greenberg, a senior VP at Atlantic Records. Atlantic had a subsidiary label named Big Tree in the same office, and Big Tree’s founder, Doug Morris, had heard the song through the wall and came into the room. When Greenberg decided against it, Morris said “We want it,” and offered them a deal.
The duo had six Top 40 singles between 1976 and 1979. Among their hits are “Love Is the Answer” (written by Todd Rundgren) (1979), “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” (1976), “Nights Are Forever Without You” (another McGee composition) (1976), “It’s Sad to Belong” (1977), and “We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again” (1978).
They were however best known for their hit single “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”.
After they disbanded in the late 70s, Seals began performing as Dan Seals and launched a country music career through the 1980s which produced 16 studio albums and charted more than twenty singles on the country charts. Eleven of his singles reached No.1: “Meet Me in Montana” (with Marie Osmond), “Bop” (also a #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 a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Good Times”. Five more of Dan’s singles also reached Top Ten on the country charts
He died following treatment for mantle cell lymphoma on March 27, 2009 at age 61.