Born Darrell Crofts, 14 August 1940, Cisco, Texas Dash Crofts began his career as a singer and drummer, later taking up the mandolin. He met Jimmy Seals in junior high school and they began playing together for Dean Beard and the Crew Cats in early 1957. Seals already had recognition, winning a state fiddle championship at the age of 9, but by his late teens, Jimmy's main instrument was the tenor sax, which he can be heard playing on Beard's 1956 Sun recording of "Rakin' and Scrapin'". Soon, Seals & Crofts were recording under the wing of the influential radio personality Slim Willet, famous for writing the monster hit "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes". Willett, who became their manager, also owned a record label : Edmoral, later Winston Records. For Winston, the Crew Cats cut the instrumental "Sneaky Pete"/"Benguela" (credited to Jimmy Seals and leased to Carlton Records), which was heard by Dave Burgess, the leader of The Champs. Burgess was urgently looking for replacements for sax player Chuck Rio (aka Danny Flores) and drummer Gene Alden, who had left the Champs after a conflict with Burgess. Willet would only agree to the transfer of Seals and Crofts, if Dean Beard could also join the Champs (as a pianist). Thus the Champs became a six-piece outfit. Beard would soon be fired, but Seals (sax) and Crofts (drums) stayed with the Champs until the group disbanded in 1965. Crofts moved to California in 1958 and was soon followed by Seals. Dash was drafted in 1962 and assigned as a personal clerk to Gen. Westmoreland at Fort Bragg because of his high typing speed. He returned to the Champs after two years, following the intervention of Gene Autry, owner of the Challenge label that recorded the Champs.
After the demise of the Champs, Dash returned to Cisco and took up a regular job arranged by his father -- for one day. Before long, he was back in Southern California, writing and recording with Jimmy again. In 1966 they backed Gene Vincent on his Challenge recordings. Soon Crofts and Seals constituted a new band, the Dawnbreakers, which broke up when all the members were converted to the Baha'i faith. Dash and Jimmy retreated to consider their musical direction in the light of their new religion. In the seventies Seals and Crofts emerged as a soft-rock duo. Seals played guitar, saxophone, and fiddle, while Crofts handled drums, mandolin, guitar and keyboards. From 1972 to 1976, the duo had a string of five gold albums for Warner Bros, with an additional greatest hits compilation certified double platinum. Their music was generally lightweight and one rock encyclopedia calls them "the super-wimps of the 70s". Recently they have reunited for a new CD, released this year.
Seals and Crofts website: http://www.sealsandcrofts.com/sealscrofts1.html (this part concentrates on the early years, up to 1965).
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