Jim Seals, half of 'Summer Breeze' soft-rock duo Seals and Crofts, dies at 80
Jim Seals, half of the 1970s soft-rock duo Seals and Crofts, died Monday, his family and friends said. He was 80.
The musician's wife, Ruby Jean Seals, told The New York Times that the cause of death was an unspecified "ongoing chronic illness." His cousin, musician Brady Seals, also confirmed the news on social media, writing, "My heart just breaks for his wife Ruby and their children. Please keep them in your prayers. What an incredible legacy he leaves behind."
John Ford Coley, who formed '70s rock duo England Dan & John Ford Coley with Seals' late older brother Dan, also paid homage to him on Facebook. "This is a hard one on so many levels as this is a musical era passing for me," Coley wrote. "And it will never pass this way again as his song said. He belonged to a group that was one of a kind."
"You and Dan finally get reunited again," he continued. "Tell him and your sweet momma hi for me."
Seals and musical partner Darrell "Dash" Crofts first joined rock band the Champs, already known for their 1958 hit "Tequila," alongside Glen Campbell before forming Seals and Crofts in the late '60s. The duo had three top 10 hits: "Summer Breeze," "Diamond Girl," and "Get Closer," all of which reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other popular songs include "Hummingbird," "We May Never Pass This Way," and "You're the Love."
Seals and Crofts also released the controversial anti-abortion song "Unborn Child," which debuted a year after the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling for abortion rights. Seals acknowledged that the track "completely killed" the duo's career for a while, telling The Miami Herald in the late '70s, "It was our ignorance that we didn't know that kind of thing was seething and boiling as a social issue," per the Times.
The duo disbanded in 1980 but reunited briefly in 1991 and again in 2004, releasing their final album, Traces. In the intervening years, Seals would make music and tour with his late brother Dan as Seals & Seals.
The musician is survived by wife Ruby and their three children, Joshua, Sutherland, and Juliet.