Hearing on the radio that Jim Seals passed away just recently at 80 years old, brought back visuals of their first hit, Summer Breeze. For the most part, our generation knew exactly where they were when a song is brand new and sometimes heard for the first time. I can recognize song years better than any other memory. Summer Breeze was released in 1972 and I didn’t have to research the date. I remember sitting in my bedroom at the apartment on Chicago Road in Dolton. It was a very simple song, and my mother liked it too, because it represented home, family and security; coming home from work and sitting out on the porch. It was simple. “Summer Breeze”, reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as Diamond Girl which came out in 1973. Diamond Girl, you sure do shine. Not the most brilliant song, but something that has stuck with me for almost 50 years. My all-time favorite from 1973 was We May Never Pass This Way Again. Hummingbird was a beautiful melody that a friend of mine, who passed away many years ago, loved. When I hear the song today, I always think of him. Other songs were “I’ll Play for You” in ’75, “Goodbye Old Buddies” in ’77 and “You’re the Love” in ’78.
According to sources, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were both born in Texas, Seals in Sidney and Crofts in Cisco. They first met when Crofts was a drummer for a local band. Later, Seals joined an outfit called Dean Beard and the Crew Cats, in which he played sax; later on, Crofts joined Seals in the band. With Beard, they moved to Los Angeles to join the Champs, but the two did so only after the group’s “Tequila” reached No. 1 in 1958. Seals also spent time during 1959 in the touring band of Eddie Cochran. The were then involved in a band with Glen Campbell and Jerry Cole but finally decided to play as a duo with Seals on guitar, saxophone ,and violin and Crofts on guitar and mandolin. They were extremely gifted to be able to write music as well as play. Both were married. Crofts was married to Billie Lee Day in 1969, and Seals married Ruby Jean Anderson in 1970.
Though the duo disbanded in 1980, they reunited briefly in 1991–1992. Jim Seals’ Bahá’í faith reflected his work life. In later decades, Seals still toured occasionally, joining Crofts for a brief reunion in the early 1990s. They reunited for one final album, Traces, in 2004. Seals also performed on occasion with his brother Dan, who died in 2009. Crofts lived in Mexico, Australia, and then Nashville, Tennessee. He currently resides on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Seals moved to Costa Rica and had lived on a coffee farm off and on since 1980, as well as in Nashville and southern Florida.