Peaches and Herb
Peaches and Herb
The duo impressed McCoy so much that he released singles to local radio stations. Francine "Peaches" Barker (so nicknamed by her mother as a newborn because of her fuzzy, "peach-like" cheeks) was born on April 28, 1947 in Washington, DC. Before joining with Herb, Peaches started her own singing group, The Sweet Things, who were also a signed music trio. Upon suggestion of Van McCoy, Francine and Herb teamed up. Peaches & Herb then had a string of successful singles in the next two years with the songs "Let’s Fall in Love", "Close Your Eyes", "For Your Love", and "Love Is Strange".
Despite the duo's burgeoning success, Barker chose to leave the duo because of the rigours of touring. During this time she also worked as a solo artist. One of the more popular tunes is "Angels in the Sky" released on Columbia Records. Marlene Mack initially replaced Barker for touring, becoming the second of the five "Peaches"; however Barker's voice remained on the actual music and albums. The new duo continued to chart with such singles as "Two Little Kids" and "When He Touches Me".
However their popularity began to fade. Depressed by the slumping prospects of his partnership with Mack, Fame chose to retire from the music industry in 1970, after which time he got a job at the Washington, D.C. police department. Also lived in the neighborhood of Glenarden on Brightseat Road where they composed music and held meetings. "Peaches & Herb" thus lay dormant until Fame decided to re-enter the music business in 1976.
In his search for a new "Peaches", Feemster again enlisted the assistance of Van McCoy, who suggested that Linda Greene would be suitable for the position. Fame met Greene and concurred, leading to the formation of the most successful of the "Peaches & Herb" incarnations. Their first album 2 Hot went gold. It contained the songs "Shake Your Groove Thing" which peaked at number 5, on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1979, and "Reunited", the unlikely follow-up single, which reached number 1. Unable to repeat the success of 2 Hot with their subsequent albums, Greene and Fame decided to retire their partnership in 1983. Fame again chose to revive his entertainment career in 1990, with the help of a fourth "Peaches" - Patrice Hawthorne. She is now the bandleader of her own orchestra.
Nevertheless, Fame retained his job with the Washington, D.C. police department, suggesting a somewhat less than serious approach to his professional music career. Today most people are familiar with the duo only because of the continued popularity of the disco staple "Shake Your Groove Thing", which has featured prominently in many motion pictures like An Extremely Goofy Movie, Monster, and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, as well as in an advertisement campaign by Intel from the late 1990s. Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker, the Original Peaches and namesake of the group, passed unexpectedly on August 13, 2005 due to health related issues. Herb resigned his position on the D.C. Police Department in the late 70s early 80's for the second time and after his latest tour and burst in his popularity Herb was employed at the U.
S. District Court in Washingtion, D.C. (J. Barrett Prettyman building) by the organization that provides internal security to the Court House.
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