Dwight TwilleyOklahoma power-pop legend
The definitive power-pop cult hero.
When Dwight Twilley busted out of his native Tulsa, Oklahoma, the tough, tight power-pop sound he and his right-hand man Phil Seymour created was a world away from the “Tulsa sound” of the era, typified by the down-home, rootsy likes of Leon Russell and J.J. Cale. But multi-instrumentalists Twilley and Seymour – who comprised the Dwight Twilley Band – went all the way to L.A. to end up on Russell’s Shelter Records, and the latter played on the Twilley Band’s 1976 debut, Sincerely. A mix of Beatlesque pop and post-Chuck Berry rock & roll riffs, the album featured the Top 20 hit “I’m On Fire,” and would eventually be regarded as a seminal power-pop classic. When the equally effervescent follow-up, Twilley Don’t Mind, failed to equal its predecessor’s sales, though, Twilley and Seymour dissolved their partnership. Twilley forged ahead on his own, though it wasn’t until his 1984 EMI album Jungle that he scored another hit, “Girls,” which featured a guest appearance from his former labelmate Tom Petty. Though that pretty much ended Twilley’s hit-single history, Twilley continued recording for decades, becoming the definitive power-pop cult hero.