1986: Dan Seals Releases Rodeo Heartbreak Ballad “Everything That Glitters”

1986: Dan Seals Releases Rodeo Heartbreak Ballad “Everything That Glitters” | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

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Video of Dan Seals’ live performance of his chart-topping hit “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)” reminds us why country music misses him.

Dan Seals was arguably one of the best voices to ever grace country music radio and stages. The pop-turned-country star had enviable country success, but is rarely mentioned among the greats.

Thanks to modern technology we have access to a near-endless vault of interviews and performances from yesteryear that allow us to relive moments that may have otherwise been forgotten. One such moment is a 1991 live performance from Dan Seals that serves as a poignant reminder of the talent he possessed.

Who was Dan Seals?

Dan Seals was initially known as “England Dan” as part of the duo England Dan & John Ford Coley. The duo Seals formed with his childhood friend John Coley saw impressive chart successes in the pop genre between 1976 and 1980. With nine charting singles to their credit, the friends chose to go their separate ways, with Dan choosing to pursue a solo country career.

In 1980, Seals moved to Nashville, signed with Capitol Records and released his debut album. “Rebel Heart.” That album was followed by the release of 15 more over the next two decades with more than 20 singles landing on the country charts.

His biggest success came in the mid-80s upon the release of “Meet Me In Montana,” a chart-topping collaboration with Marie Osmond. The song earned the pair a Vocal Duo of the Year Award at the CMAs in 1986 and gave Seals his first No. 1 country song.

The song was the first of 11 singles that would reach No. 1 on the charts for Seals. Others included “Bop,” “You Still Move Me,” “One Friend,” and “Love on Arrival.” But, the song that would become Dan Seals’ signature hit was his 1985 release, “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold).”


Story Behind “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)”

Written by Dan Seals and Bob McDill, “Everything That Glitters” tells the heartbreaking story of a a man left to raise his daughter alone after his wife leaves them to pursue rodeo dreams.

In a 1991 interview, Seals shared that the success of the song was the first time he realized that he may have a career in country music and that people might actually like his voice.

“We figured if we put a ballad out — and this is really a good song — if they like it like we like it, then we may have a career happening here,” Seals said of the follow-up single to “Bop.”

“You can’t choose your success. To try to follow up something with something that sounds just like it is a real cheap shot, I think….You show ’em what you’re made of.”

“Everything That Glitters” became Dan Seals’ third No. 1 single upon its release, and is widely considered the best song of his career.

Dan Seals’ country music legacy?

Dan Seals died at 61 in 2009 after a valiant fight against mantle cell lymphoma. The soft-spoken singer will forever be remembered as a quintessential storyteller. Few artists before him or since had the ability to captivate an audience like Dan Seals. His pure, unadulterated talent required no special effects, auto tune or heavy band and background singers. His shows were often just him and his guitar, with an occasional small band making an appearance.

Despite being overlooked for awards and other honors that have been bestowed upon artists with less success than he achieved, Dan Seals made an indelible mark on country music. His career is proof that less is most often more. May it serve as a reminder that singing and storytelling for the pure love of it will result in timeless music that will touch people long after you’re gone.

Hear Dan Seals sing “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)” in the video below.

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