Why Hall and Oates deserve the hell out of Rock Hall of Fame

How urban audiences beat the rock cognoscenti in giving Philly soul-pop princes Hall and Oates their long-overdue props.

By Michael Gonzales
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 8 | Posted May. 23, 2014

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Engineer Jimmy Douglass, who currently works with producers Timbaland and Pharrell Williams, toiled through the “She’s Gone” sessions with Mardin, Hall, Oates and studio musicians that included Ralph McDonald and Bernard Purdie. “Daryl’s voice was just sick,” Douglass says, “and when they did ‘She’s Gone,’ there are so many parts to it, so many dynamics, it was just amazing. I played it for so many people who loved it, but no one at the label felt it was a hit.”

When the track was released as a single initially in February of ‘74, it went nowhere nationally, but garnered spins on Philly radio, where it was embraced instantly. Its failure to gain traction in mainstream circles allowed for more traditional R&B acts to take the same song and turn it into a smash hit. In fact, Tavares, which consisted of five brothers from Massachusetts, covered “She’s Gone” on their Sept. ’74 sophomore album Hard Core Poetry and made it a favorite on black radio far beyond Philly’s borders.

“We were working with the production duo Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, and they were the ones who suggested we cover the song,” Chubby Tavares says from his home in Rhode Island. “We were able to take the song to No. 1 on the R&B charts, then Lou Rawls covered it, trying to knock us out the box, but it didn’t work. We should’ve been able to make it a pop hit, but in those days, it was tough for a black act to cross over, so our label (Capitol Records) didn’t even try.”

From the tone of Tavares’ voice, he’s still heated by the label’s lack of vision. “We made ‘She’s Gone’ into an R&B hit, so, we should’ve been able to make it a pop hit. But, in our business, politics is everything.”—M.G./Additional reporting by Havelock Nelson

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COMMENTS

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1. Red78 said... on May 21, 2014 at 02:26PM

“RE: “The black kids would boo at the very beginning, because they didn’t believe that a white group could be that good,” journalist Dave Brown wrote in 1995. “

Face it, you know why they booed and it was because of race.

Also, guess what? Hall & Oates rock with the best of them. I can hear a bird chirp; it doesn't make mean I can fly.”

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2. Paul Fogel aka Paul Jerome said... on May 21, 2014 at 07:05PM

“In the 49 years since we started the Temptones in Philly, I have always felt that Daryl Hall had the best voice in pop music. He could do anything vocally , anything....he had his style and his voice is instantly recognizable. His package of talent, incredible. We all knew his talent was very special but who could possibly have forecasted it would go to the top of the charts. We were excited when we heard Temptones records on the radio...imagine the thrill that it must be for Daryl and John to hear one's vocal and creative talents Internationally. Daryl and John are truly deserving . They pen and perform their music...they play several instruments each. Their vocals are exquisite technical achievements.If you don't believe that, just try and imitate Daryl Hall and you'll see how difficult it is to have that ability. A hearty congratulations to a job well done.
Temptones 1”

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3. smcchesney said... on May 21, 2014 at 07:54PM

“I've always loved Hall and Oates. Who would ever deny that they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Their music has transcended time. Their style was unique. I went to as many of their concerts that were local that I possibly could.”

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4. hey_doin said... on May 21, 2014 at 08:47PM

“A well deserved honor that took way too long to happen. I am a fairly new fan of H&O, 10 years. I have been to 11 of their shows and have never been disappointed. Once again, congrats guys!”

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5. Anonymous said... on May 22, 2014 at 09:45AM

“Long overdue. Yes, they certainly were part of Philly's "Blue-eyed Soul". I had an opportunity to catch Daryl Hall at the 4th of July celebration on the parkway two years ago, and it fullfilled a life-long dream to see the group in concert. I was not disappointed.”

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6. Anonymous said... on May 22, 2014 at 11:28AM

“Great article and I hear what you are saying! They deserve to be there but the RRHOF doesn't deserve to have them!lol Pop, yes, Soul, yes, Rock, yes, they have done it all. Daryl was right in his speech about there being no other Philly act in the RRHOF. When does Todd Rundgren get his due? A musical genius, it is hard to believe TR is still being dissed by the Hall. It's nice to get an award but the music speaks for itself.............”

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7. terry utain said... on May 23, 2014 at 11:18AM

“Brian Utain was my brother, one of the original Temptones. As a young kid I'd get to follow them around, which has led me to a career in music. The experience of being around people like the Intruders , Delphonics , the Vibrations , and of course the Temptations has to leave it's mark. Well hats off to Daryl and John, who absorbed those influenced sooooo very , and created the immense catalogue of amazing songs will last frever . I'm proud of you both, and I'm proud to say I've known you. Although it's been sometime since I seen you guys , I'll always value the friendship we've shared. Congratulations, it been way too long for RRHOF to have "gotten it right" but at least the finally did........best of everything to you guys”

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8. Johnny said... on May 23, 2014 at 10:03PM

“Good article that explains why H&O are deserving of the R&RHOF. Although they are perhaps most known for other oft-mentioned songs, their albums Bigger Than Both of Us (1976) Beauty on a Back Street (1977) Along the Red Ledge (1978) X-Static (1979) represent a creative musical period unmatched by few in the last 50 years of music. While we are talking about Philly Soul and deserved recognition, Todd Rundgren is more deserving than many already in the Rock Hall. Come on Rock Hall, its time for Todd Rundgren!”

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