Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oct.1: Herb Fame of "Peaches & Herb" is 71-years-old today.

Herb Fame, born Herbert Feemster, was half of "America's Sweethearts of Soul," since its creation in 1966, while six consecutive women have filled the role of "Peaches."  The orginal, Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker, died August 13, 2005.

Herb, who was born in 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. Francine "Peaches" using the stage name Francine Day, started a singing trio initially dubbed The Darlettes and later renamed The Sweet Things.  McCoy thought teaming up Herb and Francine might work, and the resulting record, "We're in This Thing Together," 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."

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 their 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 (Marlene Jenkins), who had sung on the Jaynetts' hit "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" and had recorded as Marlina Mars, replaced Barker on stage, but Barker remained on all of the duo's recordings. The semi-retired "Peaches" also worked as a solo artist using her married name, Francine Barker.

Fame decided to re-enter the music business in 1976. In his search for a new "Peaches," Herb asked Van McCoy, who suggested Linda Greene. This led to the most successful of the "Peaches & Herb" duo.

Fame and Greene recorded seven albums altogether. 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 then released 2 Hot, which went gold. Its first single was "Shake Your Groove Thing"' which went gold and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1979. The follow-up single, was the triple platinum hit "Reunited." This song, evoking the 1960s Peaches & Herb hit "United," reached #1 on both the Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B chart.

"Reunited" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1980.

(Follow links below to view You Tube Videos:)
-- "Close Your Eyes" (with Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker) 
-- "Reunited"  (with Linda Greene)
-- "Shake Your Groove Thing" (with Linda Greene)
Fame returned to law enforcement and joined the US Marshals Service in 1986 as a deputized court security officer at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Greene, together with her husband Stephen Tavani, went on to release three gospel albums and start the charity WOW (Winning Our World).

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

A fifth "Peaches," Wanda Makle, subsequently performed with Fame in weekend appearances, and in 2008 they were reported to be planning a recording together. Those plans dissolved, and instead Makle was ultimately dropped in favor of the sixth "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 second recording artist to co-record a Peaches and Herb album. Fame and Negre recorded "Colors of Love," the first album from Peaches & Herb since 1983, making her only the third recording artist to co-record a Peaches & Herb album.
Press album covers below for links to ENTIRE Amazon Website- 

Greatest HitsLove Is Strange: Best of Peaches & HerbWe're Still Together

For more about Herb and the Peaches, visit this Website-



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