Peaches & Herb is an American vocal duo. Herb Fame was born Herbert Feemster on October 1, 1942, in Southeast Washington, D.C., and has remained “Herb” since the duo was created in 1966. Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker was born on April 28, 1947, in Washington, D.C., and received the name “Peaches” during her childhood. However, there have been a series of female vocalists who have followed Barker as “Peaches” including Marlene Mack (1967-1970), Linda Greene (1976-1983), Patrice Hawthorne (1990), Miriam Wright (2002-2007), Wanda Makle (2007-2008), and Meritxell Negre (2008-2010). Makle returned in 2011 and remains part of the duo to this day.
With a variety of “Peaches,” the duo has experienced a successful career with a string of hit singles and albums, beginning with the single “Let’s Fall in Love” in 1966 that peaked at no. 21 on the Billboard 100 Chart and no. 11 on the R&B chart. The following year, 1967, they released four compositions: “Close Your Eyes,” which reached no. 8 on the Billboard 100 chart and no. 4 on the R&B chart; “For Your Love,” no. 20 on the Billboard 100 and no. 10 on R&B; “Love Is Strange,” which reached no. 13 on the Billboard 100 and no. 16 on the R&B chart, while “Two Little Kids” peaked at no. 32 on the Billboard 100 and 25 on the R&B chart. The single “The Ten Commandments of Love” from Peaches & Herb’s Greatest Hits album peaked at no. 55 on Billboard and 25 on R&B in 1968.
After a 10-year absence from the charts, Peaches and Herb released “Shake Your Groove Thing” in 1978 which peaked at no. 26 on the Billboard 100 and remained there for 10 weeks, becoming their first 1 million seller. In 1979 Peaches and Herb reached the top of the charts again with the single “Reunited” from the album 2 Hot. It peaked at no. 4 on the Billboard 100 chart and stayed there for 13 weeks and became both their second 1 million-selling record and their biggest hit.
Peaches and Herb released a third album in 1979, Twice the Fire, which reached no. 31 on the Billboard album chart. The ballad “I Pledge My Love” from that album was their first international hit, reaching no. 1 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, no. 2, in Canada, and no. 19 on the U.S. Billboard chart in 1980.
In 1994, “Shake Your Groove Thing” returned to the charts, reaching no. 99 on the Billboard 100 but remained charted for only one week. It reached no. 123 in the U.K. This was the last charted hit for the duo.
Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker died on August 13, 2005. However, Herb Fame and Wanda Makle continue to perform soul and R&B, maintaining the legacy of Peaches and Herb.