Jim Seals of the popular 1970s duo Seals & Crofts with Darrel “Dash” Crofts who created the hit tune “Summer Breeze” in 1972, died on Monday, June 6 at the age of 80, per the New York Post. His cousin, musician Brady Seals of the country band Little Texas, confirmed his death on Instagram. “I just learned that James ‘Jimmy’ Seals has passed. My heart just breaks for his wife Ruby and their children,” he wrote alongside a photo of the late singer. “Please keep them in your prayers. What an incredible legacy he leaves behind.” No cause of death was released at the time of the announcement.
Seals & Crofts was formed in 1969, per All Music. They are responsible for a string of hits in the early and mid-1970s such as “Sweet Green Fields,” “Diamond Girl,” and “Get Closer.” Continue on to learn about Seals & Crofts guitarist and vocalist, Jim Seals.
Jim Seals Grew Up In A Smelly Area
James “Jim” Seals was born in 1942 in Texas to an oilman, Wayland Seals, and Cora Seals, according to Variety. During an interview in which he spoke about his upbringing, per Variety, James said he was always surrounded by oil rigs. “The stench was so bad you couldn’t breathe,” he noted.
Jim Seals Took Interest In Music At An Early Age
Jim didn’t grow up wanting to be an oilman like his dad. Instead, he became fascinated by music at an early age. His dad, who played guitar, purchased him a fiddle when he was about 5 years old, per Variety. At the age of 10, Jim won a fiddle competition. He then moved onto the saxophone at the age of 13 and joined a local group called the Crew Cats.
While in the Crew Cats, Jim met Dash and invited him to play. They would then join the Champs shortly after their No. 1 hit “Tequila” debuted in 1958. Jim and Dash performed with the group until 1965. They moved to Los Angeles where they would continue playing in various groups until forming their duo in 1969.
Jim Seals And Dash Crofts Accidentally Found Themselves in Controversy
Seals & Crofts released a song and album titled Unborn Child, which sympathized with the pro-life movement. The song became quite controversial and had mixed reactions. “[The song] was really just asking a question: What about the child? We were trying to say, ‘This is an important issue,’ that life is precious and that we don’t know enough about these things yet to make a judgment,” Jim told the Los Angeles Times in 1991.
“It was our ignorance that we didn’t know that kind of thing was seething and boiling as a social issue. On one hand, we had people sending us thousands of roses, but on the other people were literally throwing rocks at us,” he recalled. “If we’d known it was going to cause such disunity, we might have thought twice about doing it. At the time it overshadowed all the other things we were trying to say in our music.”
Jim Seals And Dash Crofts Practiced The Bahai Religion
Jim and Dash learned about the Bahai religion from their manager in Los Angeles. They quickly converted. “She and her family were Bahai, and they’d have these fireside gatherings at their house on Friday night. There were street people, doctors, university teachers and everybody there. And the things they talked about, I couldn’t even ask the question let alone give the answer: the difference between soul, mind and spirit, life after death. We’d discuss things sometimes until 3 in the morning,” Jim told the Los Angeles Times.
Jim Seals Moved To Costa Rica After He and Dash Croft Parted Ways
Seals & Crofts last saw a song reach the Top 40 chart with 1978’s “You’re the Love,” per All Music. They went their separate ways shortly after their 1980 project, The Longest Road. Seals reportedly then moved to Costa Rica to raise his children with his wife. He is survived by his wife, Ruby, and their three children, Joshua, Juliette, and Sutherland.