Friday, March 27, 2009

Dan Seals -- "the music died"

My new job as a deliver driver for Bradley Healthcare has been a real happy experience. As I drive around the greater Nashville area -- including Franklin and Brentwood to the south -- I listen to WSM-AM 650 and the "Coffee, Country and Cody" morning show, with Bill Cody and Charlie Mattos. Some days, delivering meds to the Franklin area, I find myself on IH 65 passing the unique transmission tower of the radio station. This white and red-painted structure resembles a very, very elongated pyramid with its base atop another very-very elongated pyramid turned upside down.

I wasn't out that way yesterday (Thursday), but rather was passing thru downtown Nashville on my way to drop off meds in my part of town. WSM was broadcasting a song that's one of my favorite Top Ten country hits. "Everything that Glitters Is Not Gold" was recorded about two decades ago by Dan Seals. He's a good singer; first he was half of the pop-rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. Then Dan switched to a more country style as a mostly solo artist, and among his other hits is "Bop" and a duet with Marie Osmond, "Meet Me in Montana." I think the last named is my favorite of all his songs, but "Everything that Glitters" is right behind it. I hadn't heard it in a long time (several years), and so the listening pleasure was intensified. This despite the theme, similar to "Kay" (see 2 Feb. posting) of a man who gets dumped by a woman on her way to stardom -- only in this instance a little daughter of the two is involved. There's a line "her birthday came and you never even called" that infuriates me. I want to go find the fictional subject of the song and tear out her blonde hair!

Well, when the song was over, Bill announced that Dan Seals had lost a battle with cancer and had died during the night. Alas! One more great singing voice is now stilled, to be heard only in recordings made before his passing.

Later I learned that there would be a memorial service at a local Baha'i place of worship. This didn't surprise me. Dan was the brother of Jimmy Seals, who along with Dan Crofts was another good-sounding duo of the pop rock scene of the seventies. Seals & Crofts had a great hit back then, the mellow "Summer Breeze". One line of the chorus goes "blowin' thru the jasmine in my mind." On Casey Casem's "American Top Forty" I'd heard Casey one weekend play the song and then explain that the jasmine is in the song in preference to any other sweet-smelling flower because jasmine was the favorite flower of Baha'i founder Baha-ullah. And that Seals was a Baha'i. Baha'is believe that humanity is one race and that the one God, who sent many messengers including Moses, Jesus and Mohammed prior to the latest (Baha'u'llah), wills that humanity unite by breaking down dividing barriers.

Therefore the memorial service site made sense, if Jimmy had converted Dan to that faith. Interesting, that Dan was a Baha'i while his partner on "Meet Me in Montana" is a Mormon. Goes to show that folk of diverse spiritual beliefs can still collaborate in creating something beautiful!

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