Sara Smile

Album: Daryl Hall And John Oates (1975)
Charted: 4
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  • Daryl Hall wrote this for his collaborator/girlfriend Sara Allen. Her sister, Janna Allen, co-wrote their hit "Kiss On My List." Janna died of leukemia in 1993 at age 36. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Charles - Charlotte, NC
  • They never got married, but Daryl and Sara were together for about 28 years before they broke up in 2001. In Entertainment Weekly October 16, 2009, Hall listed this as one of their favorite songs and explained: "That was a postcard to Sara Allen, who was my partner for many, many years, a 'having a great time, wish you were here,' kind of thing. I cannot tell you how many girls have told me they were named for it!"
  • The album's cover photo by Mick Jagger's makeup designer Pierre LaRoche is a glitzy shot of Hall and Oates in heavy makeup. John Oates talked about the eye-catching image in Nick Tosches' biography Dangerous Dances: "We decided that if we were going to put our faces on an album cover for the first time we wanted to do it in a big way. Pierre said, in that French accent of his, 'I will immortalize you!' And he just did. To this day it's the only album cover that people ask us about."

    David Bowie said that LaRoche was the best makeup artist he ever worked with.
  • According to Barry Rudolph, who was an engineer on the session, Hall sang his vocal live with the band. The only edit they made was to punch in over the word "Sara" in the beginning of the second chorus. With the backing vocals, Hall was trying to get them to sound like the doo-wop group The Dells.
  • In 2009, the country singer Jimmy Wayne recorded an updated version of this song with Hall & Oates. Wayne got his first record deal because of this tune after the Dreamworks executive Scott Borchetta heard him sing it, and it has been part of his concert repertoire ever since. Wayne said in publicity materials: "Over 13 years ago, I picked a Hall & Oates Greatest Hits CD out of a bargain box that sat outside the department store in the old Gaston Mall in Gastonia, North Carolina. I listened to the CD on my way home and I heard 'Sara Smile' for the first time. I began singing this song long before I knew how to play it on guitar, and I just felt like it was as if the song was written for me."

    The Jimmy Wayne updated version was Hall & Oates' debut on the Hot Country Songs chart.
  • This song was performed on the episode "Tom, Sarah and Usher" of the Adult Swim show The Boondocks. In the episode, Tom DuBois starts to sing the song to his wife, when Usher comes in and sings the song a lot better. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Logan - Troy, MT
  • Tommy Mottola, who would later become chairman of Sony Music and marry Mariah Carey, was Hall & Oates' manager at the time. He had some experience as a musician (recording as "T.D. Valentine") and is credited for playing keyboards on the Daryl Hall And John Oates album.
  • Chris Bond produced this track with Hall & Oates. According to Scott Edwards, who played bass on this song, much of its success is attributable to Bond. Says Edwards: "Chris Bond was the real impetus behind 'Sara Smile,' 'Rich Girl,' 'She's Gone' for Hall & Oates. But he was never given the accolades he deserved. He's the one in my mind that was really responsible for their success. They may have written the lyrics and the chords and all that, but Chris was the one who figured out the production and the projection of it. He was a really good arranger and he wrote out note for note. He knew exactly how long he wanted you to let a note ring, how to hit it, how to release it. He was a good guitar player, but he played all the instruments. So he was one person who really could write out everything and it would be great." (Here's our full Scott Edwards interview.)
  • As you can imagine, this is a tough song for Sara Allen to hear, and since it still shows up on many playlists she can't always avoid it. Daryl Hall explained to American Songwriter: "When that song comes on, the reality hits that we're not together anymore, so it's a very poignant and hard thing for her to deal with. I can still sing that song today and feel real about it - and always will - because emotions don't change even though circumstances change."
  • This song has been performed a number of times on Daryl Hall's show Live From Daryl's House. Jimmy Wayne, Rumor, Monte Montgomery and Smokey Robinson have all done the song with Hall on the program. One artist who did not was Train, whose lead singer Pat Monahan asked Hall how he hit the high notes. "That surprised me," Hall said in our 2015 interview. "Because Pat has a higher voice than me. Pat Monahan could sing that song in his sleep."
  • This plays during Dwight and Angela's wedding reception in the series finale of The Office while Michael is showing Pam photos of his kids.

Comments: 33

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI guess it's better to be named "Sara" for this song than Starship's song that bore that name.
  • Jim from Youngstown OhioWow 28 years and then goodbye that must have really stung a bit for both parties. I was married to the most fantastic person I have ever met and after 20 years she died of Breast Cancer I can't bring myself to be with another women. It just hurts so much. R.I.P. Sweetie.
  • Ian from Turners Hill, UkBeautiful song - a perfect rendition of it is sung by Rumer, honestly Google for it or search on a streaming service, it is just brilliant.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 25th 1976, "Sara Smile" by Daryl Hall and John Oates entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on June 20th it peaked at #4 (for 2 weeks) and spent over a half-year on the Top 100 (28 weeks)...
    It reached #18 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    In 2009 Jimmy Wayne released a covered version; it peaked at #31 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart (Hall & Oates provided back-up vocals on the record)...
    The same Hall & Oates' record preceded and also succeeded "Sara Smile" on the Top 100; "She's Gone" first entered the chart in February 1974 and reached #60 and then it re-entered the Top 100 two years later in July 1976 and this time it peaked at #7.
  • Birdie from Cebu, PhilippinesMy boyfriend let me listen to this song one day...and then he said that it tell the truth about what he feels...Now, this becomes our song...It's you and me forever...the line he keeps telling me.
  • Peter from Wilbraham, MaThis is just a beautiful song, I love listening to it very often.
  • Joel from Junction City, KsI was in love with a girl named Sarah in college. Sadly we never got together. I still love this tune though.
  • Danny from Your Town, IaSomething about that 70's vibe. Songs such as "I can't tell you why," "Miracles," and "Sarah Smile," all have that vibe. I don't know if its the bass that is brought up or the soul that is put into it, but I wish someone would bring it back!
  • Sara from Union City, TnI love this song! Growing up I always hated my name "Sara" because it was so common however my mom would always sing this to me. Over the years my name and this song have grown on me and I now love both of them.Beautiful song!
  • Gary from Hull, United Kingdomnice song beautifully sung.
  • Kendra from Milwaukee, WiSandra Allen is My Mother and I love that song so much
  • Kendra from Milwaukee, Wion the sara smile record there was a Sandra Allen who sung in the back ground of this song
  • Clare from Bury St Edmunds, United KingdomI remember this song from my teens. It really is a feelgood song. Have only recently come accross it again and love it as much now as I did back then. Clare Suffolk. UK
  • Jennifer from Orion, Mii have a 9 yr old cousin named sara u always think of her when i hear it she's my baby girl if any guy sings it to hgher before she is at least 17 they better look out :) actually thats my song fo her its you and me 4ever
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkThis song was a #1 hit when my sister gave birth to my niece Sara. She was premature and spent the first three months of her life in an uncubator. We feared she wouldn't live but every time this song played on the radio I had hope. I'm pleased say she's a mother of two now.
  • Craig from Everett, WaTo me, Sara Smile is one third of the trinity of Hall and Oates, the others being Rich Girl and She's Gone. It's such a hauntingly beautiful song, and you can hear the love Darryl had for Sara come through in the song.
  • Matt from Rochester, NyYes, probably the best song of the romantic adult-contemp/R&B sub-genre I have ever heard. It also evokes memories for me (seems like it does for a lot of people!). Mine are, alas, not good. It reminds me of a girl (not named Sara) who I dated briefly over 15 years ago. I stopped seeing her to start seeing someone else who I didn't date for long thereafter. I wonder if I had not done that, would me and this other girl have been more successful? Oh the folly of youth, and the sentimental foolishness of experience! No winning for losing it seems, but life does go on.
  • Bruce from Woodbridge, VaMy grandfather just passed away recently. This was his and my grandmother's wedding song. Her name is obviously Sara. And the song has been in my head since he passed 27 October 2006.
  • Joel from Columbia, ScThis song makes me sad. I used to have a crush on this girl named Sarah at work. She had a boyfriend at the time.
  • Tony from Atlanta, GaThis song is a timeless classic... Baby hair with a womans eyes
    I can feel you watching in the night
    All alone with me and were waiting for the sunlight
    When I feel cold you warm me
    When I feel I cant go on you come and hold me
    Its you... and me forever....
  • Jay from Atlanta, GaDonna, my fellow Hoosier, Bob Dylan had a song called Sara, Fleetwood Mac also had a song called Sara, also Rascal Flats recorded a song called Sarah Beth, hope this helps.
  • Linda from Scottsdale, AzDaryl Hall refers to Sarah Allen as his "doctor" in a July posting on his website. What's the deal? Together or not? They put on a GREAT show last night in Phoenix. He is really looking thin, but obviously recovered from his Lyme disease- full of energy and sounding good.Does anyone know how tall he is?
  • Donna from Anywhere, InI did not know about Darryl. Sad to hear that.
  • Aj from Cleveland, GaYeah, I heard about the Lyme disease. I hope he gets better
  • Alex from New Orleans, LaSad news: Daryl Hall has been diagnosed with Lyme's disease on July 10,2005. Wish him luck.
  • Sarah from Glenn Mills, PaIts so exciting to know that there is actually a song written about my name. Its not so often when you hear a song singing about "sarah"
  • Aj from Cleveland, GaI love Hall and Oates! I love the song, it has that 70s vibe to it. '
  • Phil from San Jose, CaHall and Oates had more #1 hits then any other rock group!
  • Zac from Gastonia, Alsarah I got one its called brickhouse check it out
  • Sarah from Sydney, Australiaive never heard this song but its as close as i will get to a song being written about me. I fu know any songs written about a sarah let me know
  • Manny from Columbus, OrAs I remember, Kasey Kasem once stated that this song was one of the first on R&B charts by white artists.
  • Carl from Boston, MaSara Allen showed up at a recent (July 2003)show with Daryl Hall and he pointed her out while on stage. I don't know if that means they are back together but it didn't appear to anyone that they were "just friends".
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