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Phil Seymour

Phil Seymour

Dwight Twilley BandIn 1967, Seymour met fellow Tulsa musician Dwight Twilley at a theater where they had both gone to see a screening of The Beatles' film, A Hard Day's Night. They soon began writing and recording together, going by the name Oister. In 1974, Seymour and Twilley signed with Shelter Records and became famous as The Dwight Twilley Band."I'll never forget the cold November night at the Church Studios in Tulsa. Phil and I had just signed our first recording contract. We had been instructed by the record company to get acquainted with working in a 'real' 16-track studio and not to record a 'real' record. In the confusion of a pivotal moment, it was Phil who pulled me into a secluded hallway and said, 'Dwight, let's make a hit record right now.' That night we recorded I'm On Fire."- Dwight Twilley, in an excerpt from Phil Seymour's letter of remembrance."I'm On Fire", with little promotion, reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 2, 1975. The Dwight Twilley Band recorded two albums together, with Phil and Dwight singing lead and harmony vocals, Phil playing drums and bass, Dwight playing guitar and vocals and their friend Bill Pitcock IV contributing lead guitar. However, a string of unlucky breaks played a significant role in limiting their success. In 1978, Seymour left the band to pursue a solo career.Solo YearsIn the downtime between recording deals he worked as a session musician, as well as playing for 20/20 (drums on their self-titled first album), Moon Martin (drums on Shots from a Cold Nightmare album) and old Twilley Band friend Tom Petty (backing vocals). Seymour sang the backing vocals on two of Petty's best-known songs, "Breakdown" and "American Girl". During 1978, Seymour also traveled to England to work on a solo recording with Denny Cordell producing, though only three songs were recorded (two of which were finally released on the compilation Precious To Me).In 1980 Seymour signed to Boardwalk Records, and he released his first solo album, simply titled Phil Seymour, on January 16, 1981. The album was produced by Richie Podolor, who also produced Seymour's second album and later produced Twilley's The Luck. The first single from the album, "Precious To Me", written by Seymour, reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending March 28, 1981. It also went to #3 in Australia, where it was certified gold. "I Really Love You" reached #13 in South Africa. The album also included "Trying to Get to You", a song that has also been covered by Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, the wonderful powerpop gem "Baby It's You" which was reprised on Poptopia: Powerpop Classics of the 80s compilation released in 1997 by Rhino, among others. A Bobby Fuller Four song entitled "Let Her Dance", and eight other tracks, mostly written by former Twilley Band members Seymour (2 tracks), Twilley (2 tracks that been destined for the unreleased Blueprint album, as well as "Suzie Glider", the non-LP B-side of "Precious To Me") and Pitcock (2 tracks).His second solo album, Phil Seymour 2, was released in 1982 but featured less original material, was recorded in a rush, and was not as successful. It included a great Tom Petty song : Surrender. Boardwalk Records' founder Neil Bogart died shortly after its release, which collapsed the label (not a new experience for Seymour, as Shelter Records had collapsed during the Dwight Twilley Band days), and Seymour was once again without a record deal.Illness and Posthumous ReleasesIn 1984 Seymour joined the Textones, a roots rock band led by Carla Olson and George Callins. He recorded an album with them, Midnight Mission, and toured with them as a singer and drummer. During the tour, he noticed lumps appearing on his neck, which turned out to be swollen lymph nodes, and he was subsequently diagnosed with lymphoma. Seymour moved back to Tulsa to undergo treatment for the cancer and continued to record and play live locally, albeit at a much diminished pace, until his death in 1993. A third solo album was never released, but several demos are known to exist.In 1991 Seymour teamed up with Rubber City Rebels guitarist Buzz Clic, and recorded demos with Phil on vocals and Buzz on guitar. The album was self-released by Clic on cassette only, but is now available on CD-R and the iTunes Store.In 1996, after its acquisition of Shelter Records, EMI's The Right Stuff reissue label released a 15-song Seymour "greatest hits and rarities" collection, Precious To Me, which served as a companion piece to Dwight Twilley's XXI collection on the same label. The album included songs from Seymour's days with the Dwight Twilley Band and the Textones as well as unreleased solo material recorded for Shelter in 1978 (2 songs) and with Olson and Callins in 1991 and 1992. In addition; 2 Remakes:The Beatles " I Need You" and Seymour's cover of The Bee Gees "First Mistake. Each co-produced with writer/arranger Russell Scott. (4 songs), but it soon went out of print. However, Midnight Mission was reissued in 2001, and in 2005, Phil Seymour was reissued on CD with three bonus tracks, one each composed by Seymour, Twilley and Pitcock. Phil Seymour 2 was released by Fuel Records (Universal) October 2011 with 10 previously unreleased bonus tracks.


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