We have lost another great music legend, one half of the dynamic singing and songwriting duo Ashford and Simpson has passed. 70 year old Nick Ashford died after a courageous fight with throat cancer. Since my childhood, the music of Ashford and Simpson has hovered around me like air. Even before I understood the complicated passion and love they sang so strongly about, I understood the feeling it gave me; every child knows the feeling of true delight. It was perhaps Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson’s greatest gift; make a hit so unmistakable that even a child gets it.
The pair were pioneers in music, penning some of the most memorable hits and duets ever released. Their songs consistently captured emotions too hard to express without music and then transfered those emotions into iconic tunes that painted the canvas of our lives.
From Marivn and Tammy’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, to Diana’s Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand to Chaka’s I’m Every Woman; genius is the only word I can think of to describe the duo’s talent. Most are lucky to write one hit song, but to be considered lifelong hit makers is a rare honor indeed.
Please enjoy this mix, a 30 minute celebration featuring some of the music Ashford and Simpson wrote and recorded for themselves. God bless Valerie Simpson as she begins a new journey without her husband and songwriting partner by her side. And thank you Nick Ashford for the beautiful musical picture you’ve left behind.