7 Peaches for Herb #music

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Good morning, Kittens and Dawgs! Normally, I do not post on the weekends. This is my time away from Blogosphere but I can’t seem to find a good slot for this morning mewsic inspiration. You see, Michele got the wheels in my head turning when she shared “Shake Your Groovy Thing” by Peaches & Herb in last month’s impressive 4M Dance Moves post. She pointed out the female lead was Peaches #3. I had no idea there was more than one but Wikipedia says there were 7 Peaches over the years giving Herb Fame (birth name Herbert Feemster) a whole orchard!

Join me now for a look at the many female leads from the Peaches & Herb duet with 7 Peaches for Herb!

 

 

Herbert Feemster (Herb Fame) is the constant in the Peaches & Herb R&B duo, a singing career starting in 1966 with recorder producer Van McCoy.   Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker also recorded with the same producer. McCoy put the two together on “We’re In This Thing Together“. It didn’t do much for months until a St. Louis DJ intro the B-side in December of that year, “Let’s Fall In Love”.

 

 

The union of Feemster/Barker soon christened, Peaches & Herb, became known as the Sweethearts of Soul, achieving a successful recording career with hits like the one above along with Close Your Eyes, For Your Love, & Love Is Strange. After two years of rigorous touring, Peaches semi-retired allowing Marlene Mack (a.k.a Marlene Jenkins or Marlina Mars) to step in her shoes in 1968.

I wanted to include a photo of PEACHES #2 Marlene Mack but you know how difficult it is when folks don’t tag pictures properly. You search one thing and get something esle. Anywho, this is a bit confusing but the way I understand Wikipedia, Mack replaced Barker on stage but the original Peaches remained for all the duo’s recordings.  Can anyone tell me if the Peaches in this YouTube vid is Mack or Barker?

 

August 13th was the originial Peaches’s 13th anniversary of her passing. She was 58. I found one source claiming the singer was in a coma for 10 years and died from an aneuyrsm.

Fame retired the Peaches & Herb act in 1970. He entered the police academy in Washington, DC and then joined the DC police force after completing his training. The act remained dormant until the mid-70s before Fame returned to showbiz. Needing a new “Peaches”, he asked Van McCoy advice who suggested, Linda Greene as the other half of the group in 1976.

 

This is the Peaches & Herb’s duo I listened to in my teen years.

 

Their union as Peaches & Herb was the most successful pairing to date and the ones I remember. Linda & Herb hit the charts with these songs, We’re Still Together with Van McCoy, and then under a new recording studio and management, the album 2 Hot went gold with the first single, “Shake Your Groove Thing” ranking #5 Billboard Hot 100, and the second single “Reunited” went triple platinum.

 

After Greene resigned as Peaches, returning to family life beside her husband, Stephan Tavani, they recorded three gospel albums and set up the charity WOW (Winning Our World).

 

Once again, Herb returns to the workforce in 1986 but this time working in the US Marshals Services as a deputized court security officer for US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Fame revived the Peaches & Herb routine in 1990 with Philadelphia singer, Patrice Hawthorne. They performed infrequently for concerts and never recorded together.  I did find two YouTube clips featuring the new duet. The first with Patrice & Herb singing “Reunited” for The Jenny Jones show and another where they were practicing for a comeback.

 

Although a comeback never happened, Patrice who never left her regular gig as bandleader CTO Soho orchestra.

 

Miriamm Wright (Tradução) singer, songwriter, and breast cancer activists became Fame newest duet partner. She started touring and soon introduced as the fifth Peaches on PBS Rhythm, Love, & Soul fundraising special in 2002.

They had good stage chemistry. PBS invited the new duo back another special but the duet never recorded together. Here they are singing Peaches & Herb’s triple platinum hit, “Reunited“!

Wanda Makle did weekend performances as Peaches #6 with Herb Fame. They had plans to do a recording together in 2008 but the bottom fell through and their partnership dissolved.

This is a YouTube screen grab of Fame and who I think may be Wanda Makle. The quality isn’t great but I’m having a devil of time pieces faces with the lesser known “Peaches” names to me. Please feel free to correct me or to share pix in comments!

Sadly, I could not find a YouTube clip that credits Wanda Makle as “Peaches” but I stumbled on reference to a live performance of “Reunited” in Dupont (2012). If you clicked the link, then you’ll find the duo doing other hits of the site’s right side menu. I think this “Peaches” is Makle. Do you know?

Makle got dropped. Meritxell Negre, the first non-black female lead for Peaches & Herb, from Barcelona Spain became “Peaches” number 7.

Together the duet recorded the first Peaches & Herb album since 1983 with Colors of Love (2009).

 

An interesting tidbit is Fame tours once again with Makle. Piecing facts together from various sources about people I don’t know intimately is a bit tricky and I welcome more info, corrections, or other feedback.

I applaud you for hanging with me through the end and I hope you enjoyed your time engulfed in this looong mewsical post. It was a joy to research 7 Peaches for Herb and while I busied myself with this another blogger friend sparked a curious flame for a different mewsic post which I plan to bring to you ASAP.

Meanwhile to stay in the loop of things on Curious as a Cathy, I hope you’ll join my email subscription service to get instant notification when I add new posts.

  • Which Peaches & Herb pair do you remember best?
  • Do you like peaches?
  • What’s your favorite peach dessert?
  • Who are some of your favorite male/female groups?

Thanks for including me in your weekend! I will respond and do return visits as quickly as possible. I hope you have a peachy day and please don’t forget to hit the dance floor with Monday’s Mewsic Moves Me in “Remembering 9/11“.

 

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8 thoughts on “7 Peaches for Herb #music

  1. greyzoned/angelsbark

    Excellent post Cathy! Thanks for including a link to my Dance Moves post. Much appreciated. Herb sure has an interesting career, not just adding so many Peaches to his musical orchard but his law enforcement career was a complete surprise. I had no idea!

    I remember Let’s Fall in Love. I love that song. I don’t remember it from back in 1966 as I was only 4 then. I was probably first introduced to it on the “Hey Love, Vol 1” album (Hey Love, Vol 1 and Vol 2 is an incredible collection of “the classic sounds of sexy soul” … a must-have for those romantic evenings in front of a crackling fire…)

    Oh, and I think that the second video you posted (Two Little Kids) is the second Peach, Marlene Mack. She has more almond-shaped eyes and a slight gap in her front teeth, whereas Francine Barker doesn’t. That’s just a guess though…

    Herb sure has some serious staying power, performing as recent as 2012. That’s dedication! Of all the Peaches that I heard, I think I like the voice of Miriamm Wright the best, even though I’m most familiar with Peaches #3 Linda Greene (and I assume most people would be more familiar with her since she was the Peach from the most successful pairing).
    And I also didn’t realize that his latest Peach is Spanish and not black. Interestingly, as you pointed out, he only recorded with two of his seven Peaches.

    I read an article about Herb and he’s definitely not the typical hit musician. He’s part of the working class. Although he maintains he has plenty of money from his singing career (and winning lawsuits over unpaid royalties), he says he’ll still continue to work. He loves his job and says he wants to work until the day he dies. Wow!

    And apparently he has stayed married to his high-school sweetheart all these years. That’s incredible and, frankly, surprising, given he was so immersed in the music industry, known for its luring seductiveness and fickle nature.

    Really fabulous post Cathy. I enjoyed learning more about Herb and all his Peaches. And I’m honored to have been a source of inspiration for your idea. Thanks for including me here.

    And just for fun, have you heard the Chipmunks version (with the Chipettes of course!) of Shake Your Groove Thing? Here it is, with lyrics even. 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQsOsoXHGb4

    XOXO

    Michele at Angels Bark

    Reply
  2. greyzoned/angelsbark

    Hey Cathy, I just left a second message on your Labor Day 4M post. Check it out because I have a question for you as a 4M co-host…
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Michele, you’re right this person isn’t playing along and is self promoting her post. I did hop over there earlier this but failed to leave my usual comments to non music link ups. I’ll let Marie know, though. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Arlee Bird

    The music of Peaches & Herb was pretty pervasive during my high school years. For me they were mostly music in the background as I did not dislike their music, but I didn’t keep up with it either. I had no idea there were more than one “Peaches”. Years later I began to appreciate their sound more and purchased a greatest hits CD of their stuff. Good music.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Lee,

      There’s a lot of mewsic from years ago I didn’t follow closely and couldn’t appreciate it because it didn’t match my ear but these days I enjoy going back to the old stuff. Artists from yesteryear were original and talented unlike much of what’s out now. Thanks for checking out 7 Peaches for Herb!

      Reply
    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Ellen,

      Really, you haven’t heard of Peaches & Herb before now? That’s really interesting but I can relate there are many groups I’m not familiar with, too. I’m so glad I got to introduce you to them, though. Ooo, you grow your own peaches? That sounds so good! I love fresh peaches!! It’s hard to get good ones out of the store just like a lot of produce. I bet your peach chicken is good. I can’t say that I’ve had it before but I’m a willing test subject. 🙂

      Reply

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