Today in Philly music history: Abandoned Luncheonette by Hall and Oates is released (and the story behind it)
On November 3rd, 1973, Hall and Oates released their second album, Abandoned Luncheonette. Produced by the legendary Arif Mardin, the album included the band’s breakout hit song, “She’s Gone,” along with acoustic soul based songs like “When The Morning Comes,” “Las Vegas Turnaround,” and the title track “Abandoned Lunchonette.” The iconic album cover featured the picture of an abandoned diner – the Rosedale Diner – that was originally in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. When “She’s Gone” was first released as a single, it was not a hit song, In fact, it only reached Number 60 on the Billboard music charts. When Hall and Oates moved from Atlantic Records to RCA Records in 1976, the song was re-released and hit Number 7 on the Billboard charts.
…we bypassed through Reading and headed down Route 724. We had traveled about 20 miles or so to the east into the outskirts of Pottstown (actually Kenilworth, PA) when there it was – the Abandoned Luncheonette – sitting about 25 feet off the side of the road. This was really exciting, almost like finding the Holy Grail. It was still recognizable and looked very similar to the album cover, albeit with nine years worth of over-grown foliage.
The search for the diner, the history of its owners and Darryl Hall’s youthful connection to the Rosedale Diner is a fascinating story that you can read here. Below, listen to the title song of the album and “She’s Gone.”