‘Those things complement each other’: John Oates on the secret to Hall and Oates’ longevity

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In some ways, Hall and Oates simply outlasted the others on their way to the top as music’s most successful duo ever.

After all, Simon and Garfunkel’s principal partnership only lasted from 1966-70. The Righteous Brothers were together from 1962–71 (and then again for two years in the mid-1970s and from 1981-2003). Ike and Tina Turner shimmied and shaked through 1960–76. Sam and Dave kicked up their heels between 1961–81. The Carpenters made sweet music from 1969–83. The Everly Brothers stuck it out the longest, over two stints between 1957–73 and then again from 1983–2005, for a total of 38 years.

Consider Daryl Hall and John Oates, however. They met in 1967, put out their first album in 1972, and continue to tour to this day — already nearly 10 years longer than the Everlys, and with no end in sight. “I like to joke about it, that we win by attrition,” Oates tells The Daily Progress, “because honestly duos just tend not to stay together very long.”

Their iron-clad durability, not to mention musical depth, is a credit to Hall and Oates’ canny blending of styles. “As for our longevity, I think Daryl and I fulfill a need in each other’s personalities,” Oates adds. “Daryl has a certain aggressiveness, and a certain drive. I have a certain grounding and a little bit more of a practical attitude. And I think those things complement each other.”

Oates will be inducted into the School of Media and Communication Hall of Fame by Temple University, where he first met Hall when they were students, on Friday (September 26, 2014). NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is also be honored.

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