STORY WRITTN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
In a phone conversation six years ago, John Oates took great pride in being named to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and expressed indifference at Hall & Oates being snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But how about now? He and Daryl Hall are members of the latest RRHOF class, enshrined in Cleveland as rock’s most successful duo.
Surprise — being a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame still means more to Oates. “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing was more of a lifetime achievement award,” he said in a recent phone interview. “A songwriter, that’s how I view myself. Being a pop star and having hit records … it all emanates from the writing of the songs.”
On Sept. 26, the day after Oates plays a solo show at the Sellersville Theater, Temple University (where he and Hall met as students) will induct him into yet another honor roll group — the Temple School of Media and Communication Hall of Fame. According to a press release, Oates and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams are two of five alumni being inducted as part of Temple’s annual Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards.
“I always look forward to playing there,” he said of Sellersville Theater 1894, which still gives him flashbacks to watching movies there, back in the days when he was growing up in North Wales and the live music venue was a full-time, single-screen movie theater.
Oates’ eclectic fourth solo album, “Good Road to Follow” — with some delightful returns to pop, amid the folk, soul, Americana and R&B — was released in the album format in March, after six singles were made digitally available.
“The fans went: ‘Where’s the album? Where’s the album? Where’s the album?’,” Oates said.
His knack for successfully collaborating with other star talents in his solo material — OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder on “Stone Cold Love,” Hot Chelle Rae on “High Maintenance,” Vince Gill on “Don’t Cross Me Wrong” — continues. Take “Good Road to Follow” for a test drive at www.johnoates.com before the show for maximum appreciation.
Daryl Hall’s father, Walter Hohl, passed away this year at the age of 95. Oates remembered him fondly and briefly touched on the influence Hohl had on Hall & Oates. “Daryl’s father was a singer. He sang in church — he sang with his brothers. Daryl learned a lot about harmony singing from him,” he said.
Also this year, bawdy satirical female musical duo Garfunkel & Oates — their name a gag on famous musical so-called “second bananas” — debuted their own cable comedy series on IFC. “I jokingly told them I was going to sue them, and we became friends,” said Oates, ever able to laugh when he’s the punchline of a joke. He even made a cameo appearance in the second episode of “Garfunkel & Oates,” playing an adult book store owner.
IF YOU GO
John Oates in concert, with opening act Danielle Miraglia is set for 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at Sellersville Theater 1894, Temple Avenue at Main Street, Sellersville.
Tickets are $39.50. For information, call (215) 257-5808 or visit www.st94.com.