John Oates will perform at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe on Friday, April 8. It’s an opportunity to see one of rock history’s most influential musicians perform in an intimate setting with marvelous acoustics. You’ll rarely have an opportunity to be so close to musical greatness.
Call 570-325-0249 for tickets or select seats online at www.MauchChunkOperaHouse.com.
Singing from the time he could talk and playing the guitar since the age of five, his calling in life was never in question. Born in New York City, his family moved to a small town outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania in the early 50’s ….a move that would change the course of his life.
He began to collect 45 rpm singles by artists who would become timeless treasures: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, Gary U.S. Bonds and of course, Elvis. He spent countless hours twisting the dial on his AM transistor radio trying to tune in the local R&B stations and listening to DJs like Jerry Blavat spinning obscure Doo Wop records and B sides.
John was open to more than just the top 40 hits. A friend turned him on to the nascent folk music scene that began to sweep the country in the early 60’s. John’s immersed himself in music by Joan Baez, Rev. Gary Davis, Dave Von Ronk and all the rediscovered bluesmen who began to make appearances at the Newport and Philadelphia folk festivals.
Absorbing it all developed a kind of musical split personality. One night he might be wearing a shark skin suit playing everything from Doo Wop covers to the big R&B hits of the day with his band, while the next night he would be playing his acoustic guitar in a local coffee house singing Appalachian folk ballads.
In the late 60’s he moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University and check out the city’s music scene. In 1966 he wrote and recorded his first single “I Need Your Love” which was released on the label owned by a local music store called the Record Museum. The song was arranged by Bobby Martin who at the time was producing and arranging for Gamble and Huff. The single received airplay on Philly’s R&B radio stations and John began to divide his time between being a student and a professional musician.
Around the same time he met an influential guitar player and teacher named Jerry Ricks who had spent time on the road with Mississippi John Hurt and Son House. Jerry took John under his wing and introduced him to many of the newly rediscovered folk performers, such as Doc Watson, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee and Mississippi John for whom Philadelphia’s folk venues, like the Second Fret and Main Point, were frequent stops in their concert schedules.
When John first met Daryl Hall it was their mutual love for urban rhythm and blues blended with the more rural roots of American music that created their unique sound.
Since the formation of their partnership in the early 70’s, Hall & Oates have gone on to record 21 albums which have sold over 80 million units, making them the most successful duo in rock history. They have scored 10 number one records, over 20 top 40 hits and have toured the world for decades. Their involvement in the original “Live Aid” concert and the ground breaking “We Are The World” charity recording have further established them as legendary artists who have personally and through their music, stood the test of time.
Their influence on modern pop music has been cited by numerous contemporary bands, like the Gym Class Heroes and the Killers, who have credited and acknowledged Hall and Oates’ considerable contribution to American music.
In addition to their numerous American Music and MTV awards, in 2005 they were inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame and in May of 2008 will be presented the prestigious BMI Icon Award for their outstanding career achievement in song writing.
John has recently been invited to become a member of the board of directors for the R&B Foundation and continues to support many national and local charities. He has just finished recording his third solo album entitled: ” Mississippi Mile ” in Nashville featuring an amazing collection of some of the world’s top musicians.