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Chart Rewind: In 1981, Daryl Hall & John Oates Brought Blue-Eyed Soul to R&B

It’s not often that a white pop act crosses over to the R&B charts the way that, say, Adele did with her smash single “Hello,” which topped Billboard‘s Adult R&B Airplay list in 2016. Madonna…

It’s not often that a white pop act crosses over to the R&B charts the way that, say, Adele did with her smash single “Hello,” which topped Billboard‘s Adult R&B Airplay list in 2016. Madonna and George Michael made the jump in the 1980s, but no one in that era comes close to Daryl Hall and John Oates, who, between 1975 and 1988, landed 20 songs on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

The blue-eyed-soul duo, whose members met while fleeing a gang shootout at a Philadelphia battle of the bands in 1967, reached the pinnacle of its R&B chart success when its slinky synthesizer and sax song “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” topped the chart (then titled Hot Soul Singles) dated Jan. 30, 1982, the same week that it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was just one example of the ’70s and ’80s chart domination for Hall and Oates, who were respectively 35 and 33 at the time. The act netted 34 Hot 100 hits from 1974 through 2005, ­including 16 top 10s and six No. 1s, all records among duos.

In 2007, Hall formed the Live From Daryl’s House performance web series and, in 2010, Oates created 7908: The Aspen (Colo.) Songwriters Festival. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots inducted the act into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, telling the crowd: “Join me in ­making the Hall of Fame the … Hall and Oates of Fame.”