Born on October 11, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Daryl Hall eventually began collaborating with a fellow singer/songwriter to form the act Daryl Hall and John Oates. The two would be lauded as pop music's most successful duo, with hits including "Sara Smile," "Private Eyes" and "Out of Touch." Hall has also released several solo albums and launched the lauded web series Live From Daryl's House.
Daryl Hall was born Daryl Franklin Hohl on October 11, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (though some sources have listed his place of birth as Cedarville or Pottstown, both in Pennsylvania). He grew up with musical roots, as his mother was a voice teacher and his father came from a choral-group clan.
Hall later worked as a session musician with pioneering soul greats Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and performed with the rock group Gulliver for a time, singing on the act's 1969 debut album. He met his future longtime collaborator, fellow Temple University attendee John Oates, while running out of a record hop that turned violent. The two performed together and separately in other projects before forming the duo Daryl Hall & John Oates and signing with Atlantic Records in 1972.
Hall & Oates
The two released their debut album, Whole Oats, in 1972, followed by 1974's War Babies. In 1976, they moved to New York, where they signed with RCA and produced such popular singles as "Sara Smile" (written about Hall's girlfriend, Sandy "Sara" Allen) and "Rich Girl," which went to No. 4 and No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts, respectively.
Though viewed as purveyors of Philly and blue-eyed soul, the duo's sound evolved to incorporate pop-rock as well; Daryl Hall & John Oates would eventually be lauded as the most successful hit-making duo in popular music history, gaining a plethora of gold and platinum sales certifications.
Hits: 'Kiss on My List,' 'One on One' and 'Out of Touch'
Having a smaller charter presence as the 1970s ended, Hall & Oates re-emerged with 1980's Voices, featuring the chart topper "Kiss on My List" and the Top 5 track "You Make My Dreams"—both bouncy, cheery odes to romance. The two also produced the album, with Allen sharing co-writing credits for "Dreams."
With Hall serving as lead singer, the duo continued to release top-selling records throughout the early and mid-'80s: 1981's Private Eyes saw the title track become another No. 1 pop hit for the act, while the funk-driven, ethereal "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" landed atop both the pop and R&B charts. H20 (1982) featured the No. 1 single "Maneater" and the Top 10 entrants "One on One" and "Family Man." The following year, the duo released a greatest-hits set entitled Rock 'n Soul, Part 1, featuring the new tunes "Adult Education" and "Say It Isn't So." Their 1984 double-platinum album, Big Bam Boom, offered up "Method of Modern Love" and yet another No. 1 single, "Out of Touch."
Taking a break from performing together after a 1985 live album at the Apollo, the duo reunited with the platinum 1988 album Ooh Yeah!, featuring the Top 5 song "Everything Your Heart Desires," and went on to release several more albums over the ensuing years.
During his time as part of the popular duo, Hall released the solo album Sacred Songs (1980), with guitar and production work by Robert Fripp. Another Hall album came in 1986, Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine, with songwriting contributions from Allen, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and producer T-Bone Wolk. Hall put out two more solo albums during the '90s as well: Soul Alone (1993) and Can't Stop Dreaming (1997).
Continuing to release Hall & Oates projects into the new millennium, including the album Do It for Love (2003), Hall also started his own web series in 2007: . The show, which takes place on the grounds of Hall's restored home in the Catskills, offers musical collaborations with a range of artists; guests of the show have included Smokey Robinson, Grace Potter, Shelby Lynne, Jason Mraz, Cee Lo Green, Rumer and Sharon Jones, among many others. (The show's site provides a full archive of previous performances.)
Hall released another solo album, Laughing Down Crying, in the fall of 2011. Not long after, the musician was in the throes of filming a DIY Network home-improvement show, The Daryl Hall Project, which premiered in July 2014.
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