Happy Birthday John Oates: Watch Hall & Oates ‘The Liberty Concert’ From 1985

By Nate Todd Apr 7, 2021 10:11 am PDT

John Oates was born in New York City on this date in 1948. The celebrated singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is most famous for being one half of the legendary duo, Hall & Oates, along with Daryl Hall. Oates had a hand in writing a number of Hall & Oates’ Top 10 hits including “Sara Smile,” “She’s Gone,” “Out of Touch,” “You Make My Dreams”, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” “Maneater” and more.

While Oates already had a single, “I Need Your Love,” with his band The Masters under his belt by the time he was 18, the dangerously fortuitous meeting between Daryl Hall and John Oates took place while both were attending Temple University in Philadelphia. As Daryl Hall tells the story, Oates’ The Masters and Hall’s The Temptones were playing a battle of the bands in 1967 at the Adelphi Ballroom in Philadelphia. Gunfire rang out between rival gangs and the two musicians took shelter together in a service elevator.

They would go on to form Hall & Oates, a moniker neither really warmed up to, in the early 1970s and signed with Atlantic Records. Although they were signed to the legendary label, their early albums on Atlantic — Whole Oats, Abandoned Luncheonette and War Babies — didn’t garner the duo much commercial success. Hall & Oates left Atlantic and released their album Daryl Hall & John Oates in 1975 containing the group’s first Top 10 hit, “Sara Smile,” which was inspired by Oates’ then-girlfriend Sara Allen. Hall & Oates would go on to put out over a dozen more studio albums which contained a bevy of hits, making Hall & Oates one of the most successful duo’s of all time.

At the height of their stardom on July 4, 1985, Hall & Oates conducted an outdoor concert at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey just across the harbor from New York as a benefit for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty that was broadcast as a TV special. Dubbed The Liberty Concert, the show saw Hall & Oates performing a number of the aforementioned hits including the Oates’ led “Maneater” along with such classics as opener “Out Of Touch,” “Rich Girl,” “You Make My Dreams” and more. The duo also play their remake of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost Tha Lovin’ Feeling.”

To celebrate John Oates birthday, watch Hall & Oates’ The Liberty Concert below via the JamBase Live Video Archive:

Sergio Luna
Daryl Hall & John Oates (See 5 videos)


Set: Out Of Touch, Family Man, Rich Girl, Say It Isn’t So, Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid, Possession Obsession, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, Method Of Modern Love, Maneater, Adult Education, You Make My Dreams, Hot Fun in the Summertime

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