It was 45 years ago Saturday (March 25th, 1977) that Daryl Hall & John Oates scored their first of six Number One hits, with “Rich Girl.” The R&B-tinged tune was the second single pulled from the previous year’s Bigger Than The Both Of Us collection, and ended Barbra Streisand‘s three-week run on top of the charts with “Love Theme From A Star Is Born (‘Evergreen’).”
“Rich Girl,” which was solely written by Daryl Hall, was Hall & Oates’ third Top 10 hit, following 1976’s “Sara Smile,” which went all the way to Number Four and the 1976 reissue of 1973’s “She’s Gone” which peaked at Number Seven.
All told, between 1976 and 1990, Hall & Oates would score a total of 29 Top 40 hits, including 16 Top Tens — with such future chart-toppers as 1981’s “Kiss On My List” and “Private Eyes,” 1982’s “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” and “Maneater,” along with 1984’s “Out Of Touch.” In 1985 British singer Paul Young snagged a Number One hit with a cover of Hall & Oates’ 1980 Voices favorite, “Everytime You Go Away.”
Daryl Hall explained how integral the “Philly Sound” was to Hall & Oates’ development, which was particularly evident on “Rich Girl”: “Before I worked with John (Oates), I worked with Gamble & Huff and Tommy Bell, and all those people who created what everybody knows as the ‘Philadelphia Sound.’ And John and I, sort of, our idea was to create our own version of it, you know, and we used elements of the sound of that city, and then combined some other elements that people weren’t using. It was, y’know, extremely important, y’know, Philadelphia and our music are one and the same thing.”
John Oates featuring Guthrie Trapp plays on Saturday night (March 26th) in Bethesda, Maryland at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club.
Daryl Hall with special guest Todd Rundgren will perform on April 1st at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.