This isn’t a good day for songwriters. First, Jerry Leiber of Leiber-Stoller fame passes away. Now comes word that Nick Ashford of the husband and wife songwriting team of Ashford & Simpson passed away today of throat cancer. He was 70.
Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson are best known for co-writing a string of hits for Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough“, “”Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” and my favorite Ashford-Simpson composition “You’re All I Need To Get By.” All three songs charted over a fifteen month period between 1967 and 1968. Ashford & Simpson also composed songs for the likes of Ray Charles, Diana Ross and Gladys Knight & The Pips amongst many others. I like the Fifth Dimension’s take on “California Soul.” They were also performers in their own right scoring their biggest hit in 1984 with “Solid.”
The work of Ashford & Simpson certainly stands up well with other husband-wife songwriting teams of that era such as Goffin & King, Mann & Weill as well as Barry & Greenwich. Ashford & Simpson might very well be the most underrated songwriting team of the rock n’ roll era.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.