When I began to dream of having a career as a pop rock recording artist,
I started singing a more versatile music style to go along with my love for classical piano music and the hymns I played for the local choir, which I loved doing for many years growing up. I began to imagine myself singing cover tunes in a top 40 band and recording some day.
So that’s exactly what I did right after graduating high school.
Dashing the dreams my parents had invested in my becoming a concert pianist, I’d been watching the variety shows on TV and I fell in love watching pop artists of the day! My exposure to the sounds and styles of the new music completely influenced me and I changed my mind to be more like them. Watching their performances brought the excitement of possibilities to me – maybe I could do the same thing some day! Motown and R&B were taking off as were great bands like Earth, Wind, & Fire. As I sang and danced in my living room, not only did I find joy in the expression, but others began to encourage me in my attempts.
I was finally noticed by a talent scout.
I had been playing in a cover band and the scout who knew me introduced me to Herb Fame, who was looking for a new duo partner for his group, Peaches & Herb. I became the next “Peaches” and ended up touring all over the country and internationally for seven years with Herb. We had multiple hits together, including “Shake Your Groove Thing” and “Reunited”, which still are played today, as well as used in movies and commercials.
It was in the early ’80’s that I began to think about going solo with my singing, and ultimately, when I knew it was time to make the decision to venture out on my own.
As it happened, I was working in Las Vegas at the Sahara, when my life intersected with my ultimate icon, Ms. Tina Turner!
Besides being amazed to be in her presence, it was interesting that we were at similar decision points in our careers – the decision to go solo after being part of a musical duet. She was appearing at the Sahara as well since launching out on her own in 1978. According to a recent Washington Post article, “The divorce was finalized in 1978. Tina had no money, no band and no record label. She couldn’t have known it would be six years before she would release the album “Private Dancer,” the biggest hit of her career. The Grammys, the Kennedy Center Honors, the induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist — all that lay in the future.” She had worked hard to come back after such a dramatic life and breakup with Ike Turner. We became friends during that time, enjoying each other’s company and we mutually admired each other’s work. As an older artist, she offered me an experienced shoulder to lean on.
As we worked on a variety show that she and Olivia Newton John produced together, we grew closer. The staging for the special included Tina Turner, Olivia Newton-John, Toni Tennille, and me, Linda “Peaches” Greene, at the time, in a segment from TV Special Olivia Newton-John: Hollywood Nights. There are also appearances by Karen Carpenter, Elton John, Andy Gibb, and Cliff Richard and the show aired on April 14, 1980.
At that time, Tina was under new management and offered to help me reach my goals in any way she could. She was so supportive, she invited me to come to France and stay with her, offering me a place to plot out my path. Her generosity to this day overwhelms me. As much as her kindness touched me, I made the decision to follow my heart and make my move to L.A.
Tina was moving to Europe where she ultimately fell in love, married, and lived her dream come true. We stayed in touch and I agreed to listen to some music demos from her music director Kenny Brown, who toured with her. Once I listened to the songs, I called him up and told him I found something I liked, which was produced by Stephen Tavani who in addition to working with Kenny was working with Smokey Robinson at that time.
As it turns out the offer of friendship and career support from Tina brought me together with my dream come true! Stephen and I fell in love then, and have been together ever since. We’ve been married for 35 years now, making music together the whole time, raised two grown daughters and have had many adventures together along the way.
I met my true love thru meeting my Icon and we are still amazed at the adventures we will share together ahead.
I will always treasure my icon Tina Turner who as her record states, is ‘Simply the Best’!