6 June 1951 (age 72)
Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, United States
Dwight Twilley (born June 6, 1951, Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American pop/rock/powerpop singer-songwriter, best known for his group that he fronted, the Dwight Twilley Band, and their 1975 hit single "I'm on Fire". Also having evergreen power pop tunes to his own name such as "Remedies", Twilley and fellow singer-songwriter Phil Seymour met in 1967 at a theater where they had gone to see The Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' film, and they soon began writing and recording together.
They continued their partnership over the next several years under the name 'Oister', going for a catchy, hook-filled sound very reminiscent of The Beatles and other British invasion groups. Twilley and Seymour signed with Shelter Records in 1974 as the Dwight Twilley Band. Their first single,"I'm on Fire", reached #16 on the charts in 1975 with relatively no promotion. Tasting mainstream success as a jangly rock act. the future seemed bright.
During an appearance on American Bandstand, the band played what was to be the follow-up single, "Shark". The success of the film Jaws, however, caused the label to reject the single to keep the group from being perceived as a cash-in novelty act. This was just the beginning of bad luck that would plague the group from that point on.
According to the I'm On Fire Songfacts, Shelter Records was in turmoil at the time, and as a result could not release their debut album until a year later, which killed the momentum generated by this song. A second album recorded in England was left unreleased. The belated follow-up single, "You Were So Warm", failed to become another hit due to distribution problems, although many fans of underground rock helped the band gain a reputation as a cult act. When the group's album 'Sincerely' was finally released in 1975, it failed commercially as well. Under different circumstances, Twilley could have been a major star, latching onto the late 70s power pop boom that artists such as Cheap Trick and The Knack rode into rock stardom with, yet his group kept on working hard as time passed.
Seymour and Twilley befriended the like-minded Tom Petty and contributed backing vocals on several of his tracks. Petty repaid the favor for their second album, "Twilley Don't Mind," for Arista Records in 1977. Their work with Petty brought them critical respect and praise from fellow musicians, but Twilley's album proved to be another commercial disappointment. Seymour left the band the following year, pursuing a brief solo career until he died of lymphoma in 1993.
Twilley continued as a solo act, releasing "Twilley" for Arista in 1979 and "Scuba Divers" for EMI America in 1982. He finally found success again with the album "Jungle" in 1984, which included Twilley's second hit single "Girls." His 1986 followup album "Wild Dogs" went unnoticed on its CBS Records. In addition, Twilley recorded an album in 1980, Blueprint, that remains unreleased and contributed one track to the 1992 Wayne's World soundtrack, "Why You Want to Break My Heart." In 1993, DCC released "The Great Lost Twilley Album," which collected a fraction of the "hundreds" of early unreleased songs Twilley and Seymour had recorded.
Two newly recorded songs appeared on the best-of collection "XXI" (The Right Stuff) in 1996, and in 1999, Twilley released both another rarities collection, "Between the Cracks, Vol. 1 (Not Lame Archives)," and his first new album in 13 years, "Tulsa" (Copper). In 2001, Twilley released "The Luck" (Big Oak), an album he had actually completed in 1994. The seasonal EP "Have a Twilley Christmas" (dmi) appeared in 2004, followed by Twilley's ninth studio album, "47 Moons," in 2005.
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