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Hall & Oates
Daryl Hall(vocals, guitar, keyboards)
John Oates(vocals, guitar)
Artistfacts for Hall & Oates
Hall & Oates are the best-selling duo of all time, surpassing The Everly Brothers in 1984. They have had 16 Top 10 singles and six #1's on the American charts.
Hall is the much more visible member of the group, as he handles most of their songwriting and lead vocals. While Oates tends to pursue interests outside of music (like skiing), Hall is often active with other projects: he's released several solo albums, performed on Eric Clapton's Journeyman
album, and sang on "We Are The World
." Oates has made other musical contributions - he co-wrote the Icehouse hit "Electric Blue
" - but it's become a bit of a joke how Hall tends to dominate the spotlight. Saturday Night Live
did a bit poking fun of Oates for doing the hand claps on "Private Eyes
Hall and Oates are from Philadelphia. They met while attending Temple University. They were in different bands and met when they were both on the bill (along with the Five Stairsteps and Howard Tate) to play a record hop held by a local radio station. The show was in West Philadelphia, and before it started a fight broke out and everyone scattered. John and Daryl got out through a service elevator, which is how they met.
Hall's birth name in Daryl Hohl.
They have some serious credentials in the world of soul music. Hall sang with the soon-to-be-famous producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell on a single for Kenny Gamble & the Romeos. The duo has inducted both The Temptations and Smokey Robinson into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and their hit "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
" was one of the few songs by a white group to hit #1 on the R&B charts.
The "Hall & Oates" name is a media creation; they've always billed themselves as Daryl Hall and John Oates, which is how it appears on their albums.
In our interview with John Oates
, he said that a lot of people assume he was "born with a mustache singing 'Maneater.'" He points out that he had a wide variety of influences. Said Oates: "I started playing guitar at 5 years old. By the time I met Daryl at 19, I was playing for what, 14 years? So during that 14-year period, a lot of stuff happened. Fourteen years is a whole lifetime for a lot of musicians. I played in bands, I played solo folk and folk blues and coffee houses, I played in blues bands, played in R&B bands, all sorts of things."
Oates went through a rough divorce in the late '80s where he lost a good chunk of his fortune. Shaving his famous mustache was symbolic of leaving his past behind: he moved out of New York, sold all his stuff, and moved to Aspen, Colorado, where he got his life back together.
Hall penned the single "Ruthless People" for Mick Jagger, who had just gone solo from The Rolling Stones, in 1986. A year earlier, he inadvertently lit a fire under the rest of the Stones, who were unhappy with the Hall & Oates band backing their former frontman at Live Aid.
With a repertoire of hits spanning decades, some of the duo's old tunes have taken on a new meaning. Daryl Hall explained in a 2014 Songfacts interview
: "When you write a song it is in the present. And sometimes I wrote songs about the future, oddly enough. And what surprises me is when the future comes true, and you look at a song that you wrote, it could be even 40 years ago, and it's more relevant in the present than it even was then. So that's an interesting thing.
Some songs, my life has changed and they have a whole different meaning. They become anything from ironic to poignant. And then some songs are just exactly the way they always were. They're the way I feel, the way I've always felt."