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Hall & Oates' Band Origin Tied to Gun Violence

Pop R&B duo Hall & Oates, hitmakers in the late 70s and early 80s, made their unlikely team-up thanks to a series of unfortunate setbacks, one of which involved an incident of gun violence.

Daryl Hall and John Oates both grew up in suburban Philadelphia and attended Temple University. Hall studied music while Oates majored in journalism, but both remained involved in musical groups during their teenage years. Hall was with a group called the Temptones; Oates was part of The Masters.

In 1967, both groups were invited to play a dance at the Adelphi Ballroom. It was sponsored by radio disc jockey Jerry Bishop, who promised airtime to the groups who played. Oates later said in an interview, “When Jerry Bishop contacted you, you had to go. If you didn’t, your record wouldn’t get played on the radio.”

Daryl and John were at the Adelphi at the same time, but didn’t meet each other until a fracas broke out before the show started. “We were all getting ready for the show to start when we heard screams—and then gunshots,” Oates said in 2016. “It seemed a full-scale riot had erupted out in the theater, not a shocker given the times. Philly was a city where racial tensions had begun to boil over.”

The show was canceled, but because the show was happening on an upper floor, the only way out for the musicians was to take a small service elevator. Daryl and John ended up standing next to each other, striking up a nervous conversation. Hall remembers saying, “Oh, well, you didn’t get to go on, either. How ya doin’?”

By the time they met each other again on campus to reminisce on their brush with tragedy, Oates’ group had been disbanded, so he joined the Temptones as a guitarist. Then later, after the Temptones disbanded, they continued their musical friendship as roommates.

But their partnership didn’t truly solidify until Oates returned from a trip to Europe and found himself in dire need of shelter. With nowhere else to go, John showed up to crash at Daryl’s house. And the rest is history. Oates said, “That was our true birth as a duo.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Even when we don't get what we want, God knows how to use any circumstance to bring us one step closer to our destiny in his will.

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