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Seals and Crofts: Traces of Summer Breeze
Legendary and Enduring Figures: Jim Seals and Dash Crofts
Seals & Crofts were arguably before my time, their career having peaked in my toddler days. I would probably know less about Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were it not for their religion. They are both Baha'i -- together forming the only major pop band to come out of the Baha'i faith.
I had Baha'i friends in high school and college, and I was small making forays into the Baha'i world, a place where Seals & Crofts still lingered on the summer breeze. Later I moved into a housing co-op, and had a housemate whose mother had dated one of them many years earlier. Less impressed than I would have been, he was unable to tell me which of the two she'd dated. (I realize it may sound a bit funny: "My housemate's mother dated Seals or Crofts.")
So where are these legendary artists now? Jim Seals lives in Costa Rica, Dash Crofts in Texas. The two have remained friends, but gotten together for musical reunions only occasionally since they lost their record label in 1980. Some, but not all,of their joint recordings have been religious. In 1992, they collaborated with a number of other musicians to create a two disc compilation album, "Music of the Baha'i World Congress". In 2004, they released a pop album, Traces, that included several new songs as well as redone versions of some of their greatest hits from the 70's: "Summer Breeze", Diamond Girl" "We May Never Pass This Way Again"...
It took until 2007 for the last of their pop albums to be released in CD. The music is out there again now, though, and available once more through the major sellers.
Video: First Love of My Life
The last pop era album, The Longest Road, was released in 1980 and re-released in CD form just a few years ago. For a period of time before its re-release, it was the rarest of the albums. It was not a commercial success -- the music world was moving in other directions -- but I like album very much.
My favorite song on the album is the very gentle tune "First Love": "First love of my life, did things turn out all right?" (My former housemate and I joked about the song maybe having been about his mother, but I doubt it actually was.)
Jim Seals and Dash Crofts are both members of the Baha'i faith, and have been across their entire career. I doubt that many people realize that some of the lyrics in the 1973 hit "Hummingbird (Don't Fly Away)" come straight out of their scripture.
In this video, we find Crofts playing his signature mandolin, and Seals on guitar.
More About the Baha'i Religion
The Baha'i religion may be conservative by many standards, but with its emphasis on breaking down racial, economic, and gender stereotypes and barriers, it is amazingly progressive for a faith that sprung up in mid-nineteenth century Persia.
- Baha'i International Community
A source of resources on the Baha'i religion.
Seals & Crofts on Amazon
Here you'll find the 2004 album Traces as well as some of the old hits.
Music That Lingers: Summer Breeze
Summer Breeze was a #1 hit in 1972, and can still be heard on radio stations. (It was released again a few years back, and made another small run up the charts.)
Catch Up With Seals & Crofts
- Seals & Crofts Website
Although this is not an official site, it is quite a comprehensive resource.
I didn't have a picture of Seals and Crofts, but chose to reresent them by two of their standby instruments, the mandolin and the guitar.
- Mandolin and Guitar
Fickr Creative Commons: Tsakshaug
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