Daryl Franklin Hohl was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1948. While on the streets of Philadelphia, as a teenager, he became affiliated with Smokey Robinson, the Temptations and other soul artists. At the age of 17, he began his recording career as an artist and session musician with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
John William Oates was born in New York City in 1949 and was raised in the North Wales suburb of Philadelphia. While still in high school, Oates recorded his first single, in 1966, called “I Need Your Love.”
Both Hall and Oates attended Temple University, where they met in 1967. Hall notes that they met in a Philly record shop when a gang fight broke out. They both hid out in an elevator, until the melee was over. While there, they discussed their musical ambitions.
Despite that chance meeting, it would be five years before they would team up. Until then, they both belonged to other campus bands.
In 1972, they teamed up and signed with Atlantic Records. After three albums and not hits, they signed with RCA Records.
On the charts, Hall and Oates landed on the Billboard Top 40 weekly charts 29 times and went to the top a total of six times. Here’s a look at Hall and Oates twenty biggest hits, according to Billboard’s Weekly Top 40 Charts.
1. Maneater – 1982
Their biggest hit, to date, went to the top of the charts for four weeks. Hall claims the inspiration for this song was English model Kelly LeBrock.
2. Kiss On My List – 1981
Marked their return to the weekly Top 10 after a four year dry spell and the start of a string of hits that expanded into the late eighties.
3. Private Eyes – 1981
Title track from their album, this song featured guitarist G.E. Smith, who fronted the house band on Saturday Night Live for many years.
4. Out Of Touch – 1984
Their last #1 single was also featured in the video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.”
5. Rich Girl – 1977
Their first #1 single was rumored to be about newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst.
6. I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) – 1982
Not only went to #1 on the Pop Singles chart, but it also went to #1 on the U.S. R&B charts; a rare feat for a white act.
7. Say It Isn’t So – 1983
A single that was included on the greatest hits album, Rock And Soul, Pt. 1.
8. Everything Your Heart Desires – 1988
Their last Top 10 hit and their first for the Arista label.
9. Sara Smile – 1976
Their first hit was about Sara Allen, a woman who Hall had a romantic and professional relationship with for over three decades.
10. You Make My Dreams – 1981
This has been featured on such TV shows as “Glee”, “King of the Hill” and “The Office.”
11. Method Of Modern Love – 1985
From the Big Bam Boom album.
12. Family Man – 1983
Hall & Oates covered this Mike Oldfield song who released it in 1982.
13. She’s Gone – 1976
Originally released in 1974, it only made it to #60 on the weekly charts. Following the success of their RCA hit “Sara Smile” Atlantic Records reissued this song and it went to #7.
14. One On One – 1983
Thanks to its basketball reference, this song was featured in many NBA commercials in the mid-eighties.
15. Adult Education – 1984
A second single from the greatest hits album, “Rock And Soul, Pt. 1.”
16. Did It In A Minute – 1982
A Top 10 single from their “Private Eyes” album.
17. So Close – 1990
Their last hit single was produced by John Bon Jovi and Danny Kortchmar.
18. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – 1980
A cover of the Righteous Brothers hit made it to #12 on the weekly charts.
19. Wait For Me – 1980
From the X-Static album.
20. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid – 1985
In 1985, Hall and Oates’ album A Nite At The Apollo Live! was recorded live at the reopening of New York’s Apollo Theater, which featured a Top 20 single, “The Way You Do The Things You Do/My Girl” which included Temptations artists David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks.
Separately, both have had successful solo careers with Hall going Top 10, in 1986, with “Dreamtime.” It wasn’t until 2002 that Oates released his first solo album and, although he has yet to have a hit solo single, he continues to record.
In 2008, Hall started a webcast, “Live From Daryl’s House.” He lives with his son and restores and preserves historic houses in the US and England.
Oates continues to record and lives with his wife and son in Aspen, Colorado.
In the late 1980’s, Daryl Hall and John Oates passed The Everly Brothers as the #1 charting duo of the rock era.