The duo chartered 6 Top 40 single hits, 4 being Top 10, between 1976 and 1979 and released 11 albums in their career.

“I have the envious benefit of working with producer Tim Hoare who only produces albums of high quality and selects musicians who will give him that pleasure.” Harry Curtis


This album is a tribute to one of the finest soft poprock duo’s I have heard, comprising Dan Seals and John Colley. I first heard them on their album ‘Fables’ produced in 1972 and was amazed at the quality of their acoustic based songs and beautiful harmonies. I have subsequently acquired all of their albums and have had an enormous amount of pleasure selecting from their many magnificent ballads, the ones that I most enjoy. I have the envious benefit of working with producer Tim Hoare who only produces albums of high quality and selects musicians who will give him that pleasure. I thank Tim who has given much of his time to the production of this album. His keyboard and supporting vocals have really made this album possible. And of course there are the wonderful guitars of Sandy Robbie and Eghard Volschenk. Seals and Colley, and the musicians that accompanied them on their albums are of the highest calibre and I have but the highest of praise to my producer and musicians in the quality of this tribute.
The Early Years
Dan Seals and John Colley were both born in Texas, USA in 1948. Dan Seals came from a musical family. His father Waylon Seals was a pipefitter and repairman for Shell Oil and was also an amateur singer, playing guitar and bass for bands led by Ernest Tubb and Bob Wills. Dan’s older brother, Jim Seals was the one half of the duo ‘Seals and Croft’, who recorded the hits “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl” in the 1970’s. His younger brother, Eddie Seals became a successful country musician of ‘Eddie and Joe’. His cousins include composers Chuck Seals, Troy Seals and Brady Seals. John Colley was a classically trained pianist. The two first met in high school in Dallas, Texas during the early 1960’s. They began working together as members of local cover bands, later becoming members of a group called Southwest F.O.B. (Freight on Board). The band, with Colley on keyboards and Seals playing sax as well as singing, played a mixture of rock and R&B and became popular locally in Dallas. Seals and Colley begun writing songs together in 1968 and recognised that they were moving in a different direction from the rest of the band, more toward Paul Simon than Jimi Hendrix. Soon they were opening shows for the band with an acoustic set featuring their harmony vocals, warming the crowd up before the entire Southwest F.O.B. took the stage. They remained with the group until 1969, when they decided to head to California and try and land a recording contract as a duo. Originally billing themselves as “Colley and Wayland”, (Seals’ middle name) the name didn’t quite work, and it was Dan’s brother, Jim Seals who suggested they incorporate Dan’s childhood nickname, “England Dan”. It was a reference to the fact that, as a youngster, Dan was fixated on the Beatles and briefly affected an English accent. “Ford” was added to John Colley’s name, and the spelling of his last name shortened to “Coley” to assure its proper pronunciation. England Dan & John Ford Coley not only flowed well, but was unusual enough to merit a second look from programmers, reviewers, and promoters, as well as the general public, even if they’d never heard any of the duo’s music.


England Dan & John Ford Coley

As “England Dan & John Ford Coley”, they were signed to A&M Records in 1970. Their debut album ‘Fables’ was produced in 1972 by guitarist Louis Shelton who played with brother Jim Seals in The Dawnbreakers (before Jim’s joining with Dash Crofts to form Seals & Croft). The contract with A&M Records only lasted for 2 years. They continued performing and Coley was hired to play in a couple of Seals & Croft’s albums. In 1976 they cut their own demo of a new song called ‘I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” written by composer Parker McGee and began shopping it around to different record labels. Big Tree Records offered them a contract. Dan and John were paired with producer Kyle Lehning, who had also made McGee’s demo. The result was a No. 2 pop hit single in the spring of 1976, which ultimately sold two million copies. July of 1976 saw the release of England Dan & John Ford Coley’s debut album for Big Tree, “Nights Are Forever”, also produced by Lehning. Their second Big Tree single, “Nights Are Forever Without You”, also written by Parker McGee, also made the Top 10. By 1977, they recorded a second album called, “Dowdy Ferry Road”, which yielded a pair of songs, “It’s Sad to Belong (To Someone Else)” and “Gone Too Far”, both Top Twenty Hits. These two more moderate successes didn’t seem to satisfy the record label, and the duo found themselves being pressured to find songs by other composers with which they could scale the top 10. They’d spent years perfecting a sound and two complementary styles of composition that would allow them to do things musically that were important to them, but both Seals and Coley found the most personal aspect of their work shunted aside and held out of the most prominent positions in their work. Their third LP, “Some Things Don’t Come Easy”, seemed to say more than was intended with its title. The 1978 album generated a top 10 hit with “We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again”, but it was the work of songwriter Jeffrey Comanor, rather than either Seals or Coley. Additionally, the album was mixed in New York, in contrast to their prior work, which was recorded and mixed out of Lee Hazen’s studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee. This pointed to the increasing need for a new sound and texture from the duo’s work. By the end of the 1970’s, England Dan & John Ford Coley were beset by new pressures from all sides. The perception was that, between the burgeoning disco boom and the undercurrent of punk rock, their continuing with the brand of harmony-based, melodic pop-rock in which they specialised, was a losing battle. The song “Love is The Answer” written by Todd Rundgren proved to be their last top 10 hit. They made one last effort at selling their sweetly harmonised music in the form of the single “Why Is It Me”, and contributed one song “Part of Me Part of You”, from the movie “Just Tell Me You Love Me”. Following the release of a “best of” album in 1980, the pair went their separate ways. The duo chartered six Top 40 single hits, four being Top 10, between 1976 and 1979 and released eleven albums in their career.
The Later Years
Seals initially pursued a career in Pop-Rock as England Dan on Atlantic (which had bought up Big Tree Records), and managed a low placement in the top 100 with “Late At Night”. It was around this time, however, that the Internal Revenue Service began an action against Seals which resulted in the seizure of virtually all of his assets. He re-emerged as Dan Seals, still with producer Kyle Lehning, and reinvented himself as a Country performer. After hitting the Country charts three times in one year with “Everybody’s Dream Girl”, “After You” and “You Really Go For The Heart”, he moved into high gear with a six year string of major hits, including nine number 1 Country hits in a row and a series of Country Music Association awards to go with them. His duet with Marie Osmond, “Meet Me In Montana”, was a chart-topper in 1985 and earned the pair a Country Music Association Award for best vocal duo. Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, he released sixteen albums and chartered more then twenty singles on the country charts. Eleven of his singles reached number one. His soft Country sound fell out of fashion in the late 1990’s and his popularity waned, but he continued to tour and released his last studio album, “Make It Home”, in 2002. He started working with his brother Jim as a duo, Seals and Seals. They performed some shows and were recording an album which was never finalised. The eight songs they completed are still to be released. Dan Seals was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2007 and passed away in March 2009. He is survived by his wife, four children and seven grand children. Coley withdrew from performing after the split, although he did return to A&M Records in 1981 to cut an album, “Leslie, Kelly & John Ford Coley” with singers Leslie Bulkin and Kelly Bulkin, on which Jim Seals’ long-time partner Dash Crofts did some singing. During the early/middle 1990’s, he reappeared as a solo artist in southern California. John has also had some success as an actor,appearing in the film Dream A Little Dream with Corey Feldman and Corey Haim as well as a movie called Scenes From A Goldmine. He also played the part of the bad guy on an episode of America’s Most Wanted. In 1996, Rhino Records released “The Very Best of England Dan & John Ford Coley”, a 16-song compilation. Whatever success they enjoyed in reshaping their images and music, England Dan & John Ford Coley will always draw smiles and warm feelings about a simpler, more innocent age for which they wrote a good deal of the nicest music of the decade.


Recorded and Mixed at Sun Studio
Tel: + 27 21 789 1574
Engineered & Arranged by Tim Hoare
Keyboard & Programming: Tim Hoare
Vocals: Harry Curtis
Vocal Harmonies: Tim Hoare, Melissa Heyns •
Acoustic & Electric Guitar:
Sandy Robbie H Eghard Volschenk +
Saxophone: Barry Snyman •
Violin: Andrew Curtis #