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Phil Seymour, 41; Rock Singer and Drummer

August 20, 1993|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Phil Seymour, rock singer, drummer and songwriter, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 41.

Seymour died Tuesday in Tarzana Medical Center after an eight-year battle with lymphoma.

He first won fame in 1975 when he recorded the Top 20 single "I'm on Fire" with Dwight Twilley and the Dwight Twilley Band.

Seymour and Twilley, who met as teen-agers in Tulsa, Okla., made only two albums and toured only a couple of times in the nearly eight years they worked together.

After Seymour went out on his own, a performance at the Whiskey in 1980 was reviewed by Times music critic Robert Hilburn, who noted: "Seymour's voice has winning purity and strength. . . . (His) most powerful moment was when he sang one of his own tunes, 'Baby, It's You.' "

In 1981, Seymour had his own hit single, "Precious to Me," for which he wrote and sang all the vocals and played drums and guitar.

After the record hit the charts, Hilburn said: "If rock 'n' roll worked like the stock market, the word throughout the record industry this week would be to buy shares of Phil Seymour, the Los Angeles-based singer whose style mixes the romanticism of early American rock with the melodic flair of mid-1960s British groups.

"Seymour proved his rock 'n' roll credentials with the Twilley Band," Hilburn said, "and he's reaffirming them on his own."

As a member of the Textones, Seymour played and sang on their debut album, "Midnight Mission," and toured Europe and the United States.

He appeared on "American Bandstand," "Solid Gold" and "The Merv Griffin Show," and he recorded with Moon Martin, Del Shannon and 20/20.

Seymour is survived by his wife, Jacleen; his parents, William Seymour and Lee McCarly, and a sister, Lane Seymour.

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