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.
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“.