Not much, how ’bout you?

England Dan and John Ford ColeyI thought you all could use a break from the serious blog posts, so this week I decided to write about something that doesn’t matter at all: England Dan and John Ford Coley.

It’s sad to belong to someone else
When the right one comes along

I will say their “It’s Sad to Belong” would make an excellent theme song to next year’s SAD party. The lesson? Hold out for the one you deserve.

Did you know that Dan was the brother of Jim Seals of that other long-haired, leisure-suit-wearing, easy-listening male duo of the 70s, Seals and Crofts? Are you surprised? Both groups sang about warm breezes blowing. No relation to Loggins and Messina.

Don’t let me catch you dissing S&C, though. The first real (that is, without a parent bringing me) concert I ever went to was Seals and Crofts at the Providence Civic Center (now known as Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Did you ever notice that if you move the D in “Dunkin'” it becomes “Unkind Donuts”? I digress.), so I have a little sentimental fondness for them. Yes, they toured. I can’t remember who the opening act was. I just remember they were really awful.

I played The Best of England Dan and John Ford Coley (1979) the other day as part of my obsessive project, the mandatory playing of every record in my collection in reverse chronological order. You know how I feel about these artists who release a greatest hits album before they’ve got enough hit songs to fill even one side…and sorry, but calling it “best of” doesn’t absolve you from filling it with hits. These guys fall into that category, but maybe they felt like they’d never have another hit. They were right, but was that prescient or did they just stop trying?

Providence Civic Center from The Family GuyTo be fair, Dan and John did have one more song hit the charts, barely, in 1980, “Just Tell Me You Love Me.” I’ve never heard of it either. They didn’t even bother to put it on their Best of…Volume 2 (1981)There are no hits on that one. None. That may be a record.

Aside from that dubious honor, I think the most notable thing you can say about ED&JFC is that their song titles are almost all complete, grammatically correct sentences, some of them quite long. With the lone exception of “Gone Too Far,” all of their chart hits — even the ones nobody’s heard of — have titles that stand as independent clauses:

I can’t say for sure if England Dan and John Ford Coley rise above every other recording act in this respect or not. Where is Casey Kasem when you need him? He’d have the answer at his fingertips, even if it meant making it up.


10 thoughts on “Not much, how ’bout you?

  1. Well Dave, since I’ve never heard of you, although I really do like the town of Providence, just let me assure you the both G-d and me really appreciate what Dan and I did and it seems it matters not just to me but a tremendous number of people who still come to my concerts, buy my music and write to tell me about it. But I will agree with you on Seals and Crofts.


    John Ford Coley

    • Thanks for writing, John. I never imagined you’d read this, and now I feel bad. I actually like the music you and Dan did — I have your Best of album, after all — and admire that you’re still performing. My opening paragraph was really more of a “when’s the last time you thought about England Dan and John Ford Coley?” than a “they never mattered,” though admittedly it comes across as pretty snarky. I try to be nice in my posts, as in life, but never considered having to be nice to a famous person. Best wishes, and thanks for giving me something to think about.

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