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“Don’t Stop The Music” R&B Legends, Yarbrough and Peoples, Talk, Music, Marriage, & Future Projects!

Updated: May 12

Cavin Yarbrough and Alisa Yarbrough, also formally known as Alisa Peoples, invented smooth wave music and had the world dancing to their Billboard Chart-topping single "Don't Stop The Music," along with their hit bangers, Lie To Me, Guilty, among others. Their incredible talents have been showcased worldwide as the power couple tours the world. Besides being kind, gracious, and fun, The Yarbrough's showed their love for each other by valuing one another's talents and abilities. They shared many stories about their musical journeys during our conversation. The following is what they disclosed.

Good day to you Cavin and Alisa, how are you today? AY: We are great. How are you?

I'm awesome! Thank you! It's so lovely to meet you both. AY: It's so lovely to meet you as well.

CY: Yes.

Thank you for allowing me this honor to interview you. Also, I enjoy your music, so this is great! AY: Thank you.

CY: Thank you.

You're welcome. How is the weather where you are? AY: It's beautiful out here. It's in the '60s.

CY: It's the beginning of spring, so it's nice out here.

Awesome! As for me, I am desperately trying to stay warm here in cold England. (laughs) AY: I love England.

CY: I love it over there.

AY: I enjoy “Shepard's Pie.”

CY: And “Yorkshire Pudding.”

AY: The villagers always invite us over and prepare meals whenever we visit.

Awe, that's so sweet. AY: One thing I will say is that they wore us out with couscous. I don't like it. I lose weight whenever I go there because I only eat fish, chips, and salad.

I agree with both of your statements. I don't care for couscous and prefer fish, chips, and Indian food above all other choices. Speaking of weather, where are you guys, where are you guys currently residing? CY: We're in Dallas, TX. That's home for us.

AY: A little suburb right outside of Dallas.

Awesome! Can you tell me a little about the music scene in Texas? AY: The talent in Texas is abundant. Many artists here can sing a wide variety of musical genres. They are not confined to a single style. Jazz, R&B, Country, or whatever, we have it all.

I am delighted to hear that. What does your day-to-day routine look like? AY: We wake up every morning first, giving thanks to God. That's how we start our day. Then, Cavin completes his task, and I finish mine. Midday, we have lunch and discuss the day and anything else we need to accomplish.

CY: Having been married for 36 years, our day-to-day lives differ from many others. We work, live, stay and play together. Our daily lives include combined involvement in our careers.

AY: most of our days are spent writing and making music. Additionally, where the music ministers at the church that we attend. Two of the seven days of the week are spent putting music together for the rehearsals and Sunday services.

You spoke of writing; can you elaborate on that? CY: Yes, we're currently in the process of writing a book. It's a story about our career and our life in general. "We can't explain it; it's a God thing."

I'm excited about that, and I'm sure your book with bless many people. I look forward to hearing more about that book's release soon. I have a fun question: Who is the better cook? CY: My wife is the better cook, but I'm great at barbecuing and grilling. She’s a great cook!

AY: Gina, he loves my cornbread! He also loves my special chicken breast recipe.

Tell me about that. AY: I take a piece of chicken breast, beat it flat, bread it, cook it and pair it with Mashed potato gravy and cream corn. It's delicious.

Is there a particular dessert that you enjoy making for your husband? Pineapple, lemon, and chocolate refrigerator pies are occasional treats I prepare. Homemade recipes are something I enjoy making.

CY: All of them are outstanding! She puts love into her cooking!

That's beautiful, Cavin! Can you tell me about your musical journey? When were you first exposed to music, and what made you fall in love with it? AY: My earliest recollection of music came from my mom and dad. I'm the youngest girl, so they were already in a rhythm when I was born. In my youth, I witnessed my sisters and brothers gathering around the piano to watch my mom or dad sing and play. That was my home life and my first experience being exposed to music. My earliest recollection of singing in front of people came from singing in church.

CY: Both of our families were musical. Everyone sang and played instruments in our family, including my mother, father, and sisters. My wife and I met while taking piano lessons.

AY: I was five years old at the time.

Wow! That's awesome. I love it! CY: I played with Leon Russell and Joe Cocker and had the opportunity to play a bit of that rock'n'roll. However, my love for R&B had my heart.

We grew together. Initially, Alisa's life was "gospel," but I pulled her into "R&B." Once she started singing, she enjoyed it.

AY: I started off wanting to be a master musician. I didn't want to say, "Hey, my name is Alisa Peoples, and I'm a gospel musician or singer. Even in the Bible, I never saw anybody put a genre to music. I read where it says, "make a joyful noise." It wasn't about fitting yourself into a genre.

You know, genres were created to separate the races regarding music, ensuring that white people didn't buy black people music. It was formally referred to as race music. Later, the focus became money. The plan was to separate music into genres to allow one group to excel over another. In other words, one group makes more, and the others make less, and we picked up on it.

CY: We did multiple styles of music, including country.

AY: our goal was to become musicians and understand how to play all types of music.

As multi-instrumental artists, which instruments do each one of you play? AY: I play Percussion, piano organ, and keyboard.

CY: I play drums and keyboard and whatever I pick up except for the guitar neither of us plays.

AY: we can pick the notes.

CY: Yes, we can pick the notes, but we don't play guitar.

That's awesome! So, tell me, what do you both appreciate the most about one another? AY: Cavin was very protective of me when I was young. He was kind to me. I was then, and I am now a very sensitive person, and because of that, I pick up feelings and emotions quickly. One of the things I appreciated about Cavin is that he didn't walk over those emotions.

CY: I'm just a nice guy.

AY: What I appreciate about him now is his strength and his consistency. Also, he likes me a lot.

CY: A little bit, sometimes. (laughs)

AY: Cavin is steady. If he says he will do something, he does it to the best of his ability and knows how to do many things.

CY: Thank you.

AY: He's handy.

CY: Jack of all trades and a master of none.

AY: Now you're supposed to say the same thing about me. (laughs)

CY: My wife is rounded. We wouldn't work if she weren't that way. She's easily adaptable. Regardless of how old we get and how many years we've been married, we're still growing together, and I'm in this marriage for life.

What strength would you say each of you has that you benefit from professionally and personally? CY: My wife is spiritually stronger than me. Therefore, she encourages and strengthens me in that area. Where there are things I don't understand about the Bible, my wife fills in the blanks. She knows more than I do regarding Spiritual matters. I rely on her for that type of guidance.

AY: My dad was the strongest man I knew. I saw him go through many trials and endure so much. And I remember feeling like nothing bad would happen to me when he was around. Now that person is Cavin; he's the strongest man I know.

Awe, how sweet. Tell me, what challenges do you run into being a musical duo and married couple, and what have you found most inspiring about it? AP: One of the hardest things for me is ensuring we can separate the business from the relationship. Sometimes we get so caught up in the music and the business of it that we forget to be married. We fail to keep dating, so we must be careful to cover all the bases. We must ensure that we're not just doing business all the time but also respecting marriage and the relationship.

CY: That's a good word, "Respect." Because we respect each other's abilities and gifts, we are a strong tower.

Awesome. Thank you for those beautiful words. Before you became the singing duo,” Yarbrough and Peoples, what were you doing, and what were you in pursuit of? AY: As a young lady coming out of college, I majored in business. Therefore, I pursued a career in the business industry and started taking jobs that would put me in the business atmosphere. Although I was involved in music, it was not the focal point of my life. My goal was to expound on what I learned in school.

After pursuing a business career, the opportunity arose for me to pursue a professional music career, move to California and sign record deals.

Cavin, what was in your heart before music? CY: I wanted to be a teacher, but my professional career began very early. In my heart, I wanted to be a teacher, but in my head, I always knew that I would become a musician and entertainer.

How old were you when you began your professional music career, Cavin? CY: My career began when I was 15 years old. Whenever an opportunity arose, I was on the road singing and playing in bands. That's the life that my wife and I had when we came together. We were both pursuing our paths. She knew music was something that I wanted to do, and I knew what she was. One thing I will say about my wife is that she is a prodigy.

AY: Thank you.

That's awesome. When did the duo "Yarbrough and Peoples" come into being? At that time, were you married or dating? AY: Neither. At that time, we were very good friends only.

CY: We still are.

AY: The relationship blossomed from us spending a lot of time together. It was just the two of us. Hence our first album, "The Two of Us." It was just the two of us when we went to California. We had nobody else to depend on but us. We had nobody to have our backs but us. That's how our relationship blossomed. So, now, the Lord has blessed us to go full circle.

In 1981, we made a big record entitled "Don't Stop The Music."

We even went from California to Utah to work with Donny and Marie Osmond at the Children's Miracle Network.

While we were there, my father passed away, which made us have to come back home so we could take care of his parents and my mom. We began to lean on God even more during that time and became more involved in the church. Since being back here in Dallas, we've come full circle. We've succeeded in the record business and being on stage with Blind Lemon Blues. We've traveled the world and even picked up acting skills.

CY: Yes, we did three movies in two years. This is what we wanted and prayed for.

AY: We hadn't done this before, so God opened the door and blessed us to do that.

Awesome! I would love to see you both in those films. As a Christian, I know it can be challenging to be an artist in an industry not geared toward honoring biblical principles or a lifestyle that glorifies God. Can you tell me about your experience being Christian in the industry? How did you manage your faith in God and the entertainment industry's demands? CY: We have grown through the witness of what God has done in our lives. We realize that what we have is a God-given gift, so there's no challenge to us when we come across people who believe, study, or think differently than us. We stand on our ground, and it's no wavering here.

AY: The bible says in Proverbs 22:6 King James Version, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." That scripture is true. The stuff that you learn as a child you hide in your heart. As you encounter different situations, those scriptures come to you and remind you what's right and wrong. None of us are perfect, and as we grow, we make mistakes. Even we did things that we were not proud of. We did that because we had to learn to grow up, but as the bible also says in 1 Corinthians 13:11 King James Version, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Now, when we're around those who don't believe, rather than try to convince or change them, we allow the spirit of God to change the hearts and minds of people. We had to mature into that level of understanding. We don't stand in judgment of anybody's life because we're not being judged for their life. They're only being judged for their own life. So, all we can do is pray for that person, love them, and be as helpful as possible.

Well said. I want to talk about some of your music. I used to skate to your Billboard chart-topper, "Don't Stop the Music." In addition to the song, I loved your outfits. Who designed them? CY: We styled ourselves. The funny thing is that I spoke with someone the other day about this topic. They were talking about us wearing their clothes. I told him that I was wearing warm-up suits back then. (laughs)

AY: At that time, we hadn't made the record company substantial money, so they gave us little money. Therefore, the outfits you saw us wearing in that video came from closets.

You came to the label with style! That’s awesome! AY: Yes. We did. I even started wearing hats and scarves. That later became my signature looks back then.

Now, in your video “Guilty,” what was going on? There were so many things happening in that video. Hilarious! Tell me about the making of that video. Did it also make you laugh while filming it? AY: Yes, it was funny. Frankie Crocker, the guy who played the car dealer in the video, was the DJ and program director that broke "Don't Stop The Music." He was a DJ from New York on KBLX. He played, Don't Stop The Music only for 24 hours straight.

CY: Not only did he break that song, but he also broke McFadden and Whitehead's song, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," utilizing the same method he used with our song.

AY: From there, it's spread across the United States. You would think it would have broken here at home in Texas, but it didn't start here. It began in New York. Then the fire picked up from There.

Wow, thanks for sharing that piece of history with our readers. That is awesome! Another song I loved was, “I Wouldn't Lie.” AY: Oh yeah.

I love your music! I grew up listening to your music, and you both are phenomenal! AY:

Thank you!

My pleasure!

CY: We had a producer who was instrumental in creating the sound of it. All the songs had that same familiar beat. As a matter of fact, the song we are putting out is called “This Beat.” It has the same type of beat that gives you that same feeling.