Saturday, March 8, 2008

Close Your Eyes, Peaches & Herb (1967)

Living in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. between the ages of 10 and 16, I was exposed to lots and lots of soul and rhythm and blues. I feel fortunate to have cultivated my musical tastes at a time when the segmenting of music by genres was a very limited phenomenon; there was a chart devoted entirely to R&B, but songs from that chart crossed over all the time to a white audience.

Flipping the dial among WEAM, WPGC, WINX, and WWDC, I almost never had the radio off in those days. WINX was the first station to broadcast 24/7 - such a luxury late at night when I couldn't sleep.

(I now pause to make a movie recommendation for those whose lives would have been bereft without the music and personalities of radio in those days - Don Cheadle's Talk To Me. Rent it, you'll be glad you did.)

Anyway, soul music touched very deep-seated parts of me from my very first exposure to it, as it does to this day.

One local soul duo who made it big was Peaches & Herb. Their beautiful harmonies on Chuck Willis' song Close Your Eyes were a mainstay on D.C.-area high school dance floors. Wow, something I just found: a site where a professional DJ group is compiling the top 100 most requested songs at parties 1950-1999! And Close Your Eyes is #71 on the 1967 list. Nice.

And in case it sounds more recently familiar, many years later, in 2003, two more artists with killer harmonies duetted on this song, Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, on his Love Songs CD.

1 comment:

Michele said...

you were indeed lucky to have lived before music had such distinct genres. I feel sorry for so many young people now, who haven't heard a wide variety of music.