THE SATURDAY MORNING SONG CHRONICLES - PAGE 35

-- Paul B Allen III: January 04, 2020

PEACHES AND HERB 

One of the most rare type of groups in R&B, Pop, and Soul music is the duo, with a male and female lead vocalist. Don’t get me wrong, there have been stars who teamed up to sing duets from time to time. Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye with Tammi Terrell, Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack, Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb, Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton, and so on. But a dedicated male/female duo is very rare. I loved Ashford and Simpson, Sonny and Cher, and then there was Peaches and Herb. 

The great Van “The Hustle” McCoy brought Peaches and Herb together and they made music history. Many know their hit songs, from the late 1970s, “Shake Your Groove Thing” and “Reunited” and one of the biggest “wedding songs” ever, “I Pledge My Love,” but many don’t know that this group had major hits ten years earlier, and they were not doing songs like “Shake Your Groove Thing.” They were doing some of the sweetest romantic ballads in music history. That was the Peaches and Herb I fell in love with. 

Here is a brief bit of information about Peaches and Herb recorded at Wikipedia

“Peaches & Herb are an American vocalist duo. Herb Fame (born October 1, 1942) has remained a constant as "Herb" since the duo was created in 1966; seven different women have filled the role of "Peaches", most notably Francine "Peaches" Hurd Barker (April 28, 1947 – August 13, 2005), the original "Peaches" who lent her nickname to the duo, and Linda Greene, the third "Peaches", who appeared on the duo's biggest hits "Shake Your Groove Thing" (1978) and "Reunited" (1979).” 

Here are their early hits, all from 1967, and then the near hit, “United” from 1968 that you may not have associated with their later hits: 

“Close Your Eyes” #8 on Billboard’s charts 

“For Your Love” #20 on Billboard’s charts 

“Two Little Kids” #31 on Billboard’s charts 

“Let’s Fall in Love” #21 on Billboard’s charts 

“Love is Strange” #13 on Billboard’s charts 

“United” #46 on Billboard’s chart 

After all of these hits, in the year 1970, for what is called in Wikipedia, “personal reasons,” the duo disbanded and Herb went into law enforcement, joining the Washington D.C. police department. 

But, I can tell you from experience that when music is in your blood and a major part of your life, there really is no getting away from it. Sometime later, Herb brought the group back together with a new “Peaches” and started performing again, releasing good songs, but no hits until the late ’70s with “Peaches” number three. 

Though they began way back in 1966, Peaches and Herb are still performing. I have that on good authority from an extremely dear friend who is an amazing entertainer, and she has been on tours where Peaches and Herb are one of the acts. I also saw a recent video where Herb is still looking and sounding phenomenal with yet another “Peaches.” I have always believed that Herb is one of the most underrated male vocalists in music.   

If you are having pancakes this morning, get ready to douse them in some of the most sugary sweet love ballads you’ve ever heard. And, as you watch these rare videos, notice the chemistry that Peaches and Herb have always had on stage, no matter which “Peaches” happened to be the latest in succession. Powerful stuff! 

Thanks for joining me today. I look forward to reading your comments and I hope to see you here next week for another Saturday Morning Song Chronicles.