Peaches & Herb

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Peaches & Herb
Peaches and Herb 1968.JPG
Peaches and Herb in 1968.
Background information
Origin Washington D.C., United States
Genres Disco
Funk
R&B
Soul
Years active 1966–present
Labels Date Records
Columbia Records
Imagen Records
Website Peaches & Herb.com
Members Herb Fame
Wanda Makle
Past members Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker ("Peaches" was her actual nickname since childhood)
Marlene Mack
Linda Greene
Patrice Hawthorne
Miriamm Wright
Meritxell Negre

Peaches & Herb were an American vocalist duo, once comprising Herb Fame (born October 1, 1942) and Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker (April 28, 1947 – August 13, 2005). Herb has remained a constant in "Peaches & Herb" since its creation in 1966, while seven different women have filled the role of "Peaches."

History[edit]

Herb Fame (born Herbert Feemster, October 1, 1942, in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.), sang in church and neighborhood groups as a child. After graduation from high school, he worked in a local record store where he met record producer Van McCoy and was signed to Columbia subsidiary Date Records by McCoy and A&R executive Dave Kapralik.[1] Francine "Peaches" Barker (born Francine Edna Hurd, April 28, 1947, in Washington, D.C.), using the stage name Francine Day,[2] started a singing trio initially dubbed The Darlettes and later renamed The Sweet Things after a change of record label to Date Records.[3] Having produced two releases for the trio, McCoy decided to record Feemster/Fame and Hurd/Day together at Kapralik's suggestion.[4][5][6] The resulting single, "We're in This Thing Together," was distributed to radio stations but went nowhere for months until December 1966, when a St. Louis disc jockey broadcast the single's B-side, a revival of the 1934 hit "Let's Fall in Love."[5][7]

The new duo, christened "Peaches & Herb," had a string of successful singles and albums over the next two years such as "Let's Fall in Love," "Close Your Eyes," "For Your Love," and "Love Is Strange". Despite burgeoning success and a media image as the "Sweethearts of Soul," Barker chose to semi-retire from the duo after two years because of the rigors of touring. Marlene Mack (aka Marlene Jenkins), who had sung on the Jaynetts' hit "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" and had recorded as Marlina Mars,[8] replaced Barker on stage, but Barker remained on all of the duo's recordings for Date Records. During this period, the semi-retired "Peaches" also worked as a solo artist using her married name, Francine Barker. She released three singles in total on the Columbia Records label,[3] including "Angels in the Sky" and "Mister DJ."

Fame retired the act in 1970 when, for personal reasons, he enrolled in the police academy of Washington, D.C. and thereafter joined the city's police department.[9] Peaches & Herb lay dormant until Fame decided to re-enter the music business in 1976. In his search for a new "Peaches," Herb again enlisted the assistance of Van McCoy, who suggested that Linda Greene would be suitable for the position. Fame met Greene and concurred, thereby leading to formation of the most successful of the "Peaches & Herb" incarnations to date.

Fame and Greene recorded seven albums altogether, including one album released only in Argentina. Their first album, Peaches & Herb, was recorded for MCA Records and produced by Van McCoy, but it generated only one charted hit, "We're Still Together." Peaches & Herb signed with MVP/Polydor and under the management of Paul J. Cohn, released 2 Hot, which went gold. The album's first single, "Shake Your Groove Thing", went gold and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1979. The follow-up single, viewed as the album's "secret weapon" by producer/songwriter Freddie Perren, was the triple platinum hit "Reunited."[1] This song, evoking the 1960s Peaches & Herb hit "United," (originally recorded and made a hit by The Intruders), reached #1 on both the Hot 100, the Billboard R&B chart, and in Canada. "Reunited" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1980. Subsequent releases with Polydor produced several more hits, including the lasting wedding staple, "I Pledge My Love." After changing labels again to the Entertainment Company, Fame and Greene released their seventh album in 1983. Scoring only one minor hit, Greene and Fame decided to make no more albums and retired their partnership. Once again, Fame returned to law enforcement and joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 1986 as a deputized court security officer at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.[9] Greene returned to her family and, together with her husband Stephen Tavani, went on to release three gospel albums and start the charity WOW (Winning Our World).[10]

While remaining employed at the court, Fame again revived the brand in 1990. For the fourth "Peaches" he chose Patrice Hawthorne, fresh from television exposure on the Natalie Cole-hosted talent show Big Break.[11] The duo appeared infrequently in concerts, and did not release any recordings. Hawthorne remains a Philadelphia bandleader of her own orchestra, CTO Soho.

Due to unpaid royalties, Fame's financial state was far from wealthy despite years of hits and selling nine million records with Greene. Thus, in 2001, Fame and Greene hired attorneys Oren Warshavsky and Steven Ames Brown through Artists Rights Enforcement Corporation. The attorneys brought a lawsuit against MVP Records, then headed by Christine Perren. Perren's testimony at trial revealed a series of contradictions in MVP's defense, with the result that Fame and Greene received royalties, income, and a reaffirmation of their artists' rights. Those rights have since been vigorously defended.[12][13] Having financial security, Fame would then have been able to leave the court and focus solely on his music career. Instead, he banked significant funds and continued enjoying the work.[9]

A fifth "Peaches", singer, songwriter, breast cancer advocate, Miriamm joined the duo in 2002. Miriamm, began touring with Herb and was introduced to the world as the new "Peach" when she joined Herb in the PBS televised "Rhythm, Love & Soul" Fundraising drive. They shared the stage with greats such as Aretha Franklin, Gloria Gaynor and the late great Lou Rawls, to name a few. Their performance re-introduced Peaches and Herb and their on-stage chemistry was so well received, it sparked another invitation to the duo for the follow-up star-studded installment of the PBS show featuring R&B greats such as Irene Cara, Heatwave, and Anita Ward. Both performances currently air periodically throughout the year. Miriamm currently performs as a free-lance vocalist (www.miriamm.com) and has founded a breast cancer foundation, EPW Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., in honor her mother, Edith P. Wright (www.epwfoundation.org), providing support to families facing breast cancer.

" Wanda Makle, subsequently performed with Fame in weekend appearances,[14] and in 2008 they were reported to be planning a recording together.[10] Those plans dissolved, and instead Makle was ultimately dropped in favor of another "Peaches," Meritxell Negre from Barcelona, Spain.

Negre, who was introduced to Fame by known producer Bill Davis, is the first-ever non-black "Peaches" and third recording artist to co-record a Peaches and Herb album.[15] Together, Fame and Negre recorded Colors of Love, the first album from Peaches & Herb since 1983. Combined with Fame’s classic, zesty tenor flair, Negre’s soulful, alto-soprano range seamlessly replaces Linda Greene 25 years after the Peaches & Herb album Remember.[16] Colors of Love was released in May 2009 by Imagen Records, approximately three months after Negre's stage debut as "Peaches."[17]

Fame has since returned to touring with Wanda Mackle.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Label Year of release Country of release Peak Billboard chart position* Peaches: LP CD
For Your Love Date 1967 USA 13 Francine Barker LP -
Let's Fall in Love 30 LP -
Peaches & Herb MCA 1977 - Linda Greene LP -
2 Hot MVP / Polydor 1978 2 LP CD
Twice the Fire 1979 31 LP -
Demasiado Candente Argentina - LP
Worth the Wait 1980 USA 120 LP CD
Sayin' Something 1981 16 LP -
Remember The Entertainment Co. / Columbia 1983 204 LP -
Colors of Love Imagen 2009 NA Meritxell Negre - CD

*Based on Billboard's Hot 100, R&B, and Disco/Dance singles charts. [Source: Billboard Top Pop Hits and Billboard Top R&B Hits by Joel Whitburn.]

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Label Year of release Country of release Peak Billboard chart position* Peaches:
Greatest Hits Date 1968 USA 18 Francine Barker
Greatest Hits Epic 1979 -
Sweathearts of Soul Origianal Sound Entertainment 1994 -
Reunited: At Their Best PSM 1995 - Linda Greene
Best of Peaches & Herb MVP / Polydor 1996 -
Reunited Rotation / MVP / Polydor 2001 EU -
20th Century Masters MVP / Polydor 2002 USA -
Two of a Kind Collectables 2005 - Francine Barker
Old School Cruzin' With Peaches & Herb Thump -
The Best of Peaches & Herb: Love Is Strange Epic / Legacy 2007 -
Greatest Hits Wounded Bird 2009 -
Golden Duets Wounded Bird 2009 -

*Based on Billboard's Hot 100, R&B, and Disco/Dance singles charts. [Source: Billboard Top Pop Hits and Billboard Top R&B Hits by Joel Whitburn.]

7" Singles and promos[edit]

Title Label Year Country of release US Billboard chart * UK chart position #[18] NL (Dutch) Peaches:
Close Your Eyes Date 1967 USA 8 - - Francine Barker
For You Love 20 - -
Two Little Kids b/w We've Got to Love One Another 31 - -
Let's Fall in Love 21 - -
Love Is Strange b/w It's True I Love You 13 - -
United b/w Thank You 1968 46 - -
Let's Make a Promise b/w Me & You 75 - -
The Ten Commandments of Love 55 - -
Let Me Be the One b/w I Need Your Love So Desperately 1969 74 - -
When He Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters 49 - -
Darling How Long b/w Cupid - - -
The Sound of Silence 1970 100 - -
Just a Game, Love b/w Satisfy My Hunger - - -
God Save This World Columbia 1971 - - -
I'm Counting on You MCA 1977 - - - Linda Greene
Shake Your Groove Thing MVP / Polydor 1978 5 26 22
Reunited b/w Easy As Pie 1 4 2
Reunited b/w We Got Love Germany - - -
We Got Love b/w Four's a Traffic Jam USA 44 - 14
Roller Skatin' Mate 1979 66 - -
I Pledge My Love b/w (I Want Us) Back Together 19 - -
Howzabout Some Love b/w Put It There Spain - - -
Sacude Tu Alegria b/w Todo Tu Amor Argentina - - -
Fun Time 1980 USA - - -
All Night Celebration - - -
Hearsay - - -
Freeway 1981 - - -
Bluer Than Blue - - -
Remember The Entertainment Co. / Columbia 1983 - - -
In My World b/w Keep on Smiling - - -

*Based on Billboard's Hot 100, R&B, and Disco/Dance singles charts. [Source: Billboard Top Pop Hits and Billboard Top R&B Hits by Joel Whitburn.]
# Based on Complete UK Hit Singles 1952 - 2006 published by Collins UK.
"I Pledge My Love" also reached number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart for a week in 1980.

12" and maxi singles[edit]

Title Label Year of release Country of Release Peak Billboard chart position* Peaches:
Shake Your Groove Thing MVP / Polydor 1978 USA - Linda Greene
Roller Skatin' Mate 1979 -
Fun Time 1980 -
Freeway 1981 -
Shake Your Groove Thing (Serious Rope Remixes) Mother / MVP / Polydor 1994 UK -

*Based on Billboard's Hot 100, R&B, and Disco/Dance singles charts. [Source: Billboard Top Pop Hits and Billboard Top R&B Hits by Joel Whitburn.]

Legacy[edit]

The disco song "Shake Your Groove Thing" has featured prominently in many films such as An Extremely Goofy Movie, Monster, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Connie and Carla, Marock and The Country Bears,[19] as well as in an advertisement campaign by Intel in the late 1990s. The song was covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks with Drew Seeley for their album Undeniable, and again with the Chipettes on the soundtrack for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. Also, the cast of That '70s Show sang it in the episode "That '70s Musical".

In June 2009, rock band Faith No More opened their set at Brixton Academy with their own cover of "Reunited" the song alluding to the band's own eleven-year break up and subsequent reunion. They subsequently did the same for their headlining slot at Download Festival on June 12.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Peaches and Herb" Web page at the Soultracks Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  2. ^ "Some More Soul Than Has Been Missed" Web page at the soulwalking Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  3. ^ a b "Francine Barker" Web page at the Spectropop Remembers Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  4. ^ "Peaches & Herb" Web page at the NME Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  5. ^ a b Hogan, Ed, "Biography", article in the "Peaches & Herb" Web page at the All Music Web Site, accessed May 30, 2009
  6. ^ "Reunited" Web page at the Super Seventies Rocksite Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  7. ^ "Bio" Web page at the Peaches and Herb Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  8. ^ "jaynettes". Soulfulkindamusic.net. 1988-10-24. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  9. ^ a b c du Lac, J. Freedom, "For R & B Star, Day Job's the Real High Note", article in The Washington Post, May 29, 2009, accessed May 30, 2009
  10. ^ a b Christian, Margena, "Where are … Peaches & Herb?", article in Jet, May 5, 2008, accessed May 30, 2009
  11. ^ "Patty's Biography" Web page at the Patrice Hawthorne Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  12. ^ "Kid flick sued for shaking 'Groove Thing'". NY Daily News. 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "MUSIC: Magic Springs lines up peachy show", article in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 18, 2008, accessed May 30, 2009
  15. ^ Web page at the MeritxellMusic “Meritxell Negre” Web site accessed September 25, 2009.
  16. ^ Web page at the Soulmusic.com” Web Site accessed September 28, 2009
  17. ^ "News & Press" Web page at the Imagen Records Web site, accessed May 30, 2009
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 421. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  19. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]