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Tribute to Ashford & Simpson

August 24th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was going to post another mix today, but when one of your favourite songwriters dies, priorities take over. And much as I love Jerry Leiber’s repository of great lyrics – he was he Cole Porter of rock & roll – my tribute is for Nickolas Ashford, who with his wife Valerie Simpson wrote, produced and recorded over their career of five decades some of the finest soul music.

They deserve a lifetime achievement award alone for that string of wonderful songs they wrote and produced for Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell: Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing, Your Precious Love, You’re All I Need To Get By, The Onion Song, Keep On Lovin’ Me Honey and, of course,  Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The Onion Song is rumoured to have used Valerie Simpson’s voice to stand in for the ailing Terrell (Simpson has denied it).

The inclusion of Kenny Lattimore and Chanté Moore’s version of You’re All I Need To Get By – it was that or that by Martha Reeves and GC Cameron – is rather nice, I think. Lattimore and Moore are a married couple, hopefully as solid (yeah!) as the writers of the song.

Then there were the Diana Ross songs: Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand), Surrender Remember Me, The Boss, It’s My House etc. Or the double-whammy for Ray Charles: I Don’t Need No Doctor and Let’s Go Get Stoned.

One clarifying note: the version of Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand was the first hit for Diana Ross after she left The Supremes; the version here is that by the Ross-less Supremes with The Four Tops. This is, of course, the song which Ashford & Simpson sang at Live Aid with Teddy Pendegrass.

Well, let the music do the talking. Here is a mix of Ashford & Simpson songs (which is so good, it did not need the inclusion of their great hit, Solid).

Nick Ashford died of cancer on August 22, 2011. He was 69. May he rest in peace.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Ashford & Simpson – It Seems To Hang On (1978)
2. Quincy Jones with Chaka Khan – Stuff Like That (1981)
3. Diana Ross – It’s My House (1979)
4. Al Jarreau & Randy Crawford – Your Precious Love (1982)
5. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Keep On Lovin’ Me Honey (1968)
6. The Marvelettes – Destination Anywhere (1968)
7. Ray Charles – Let’s Go Get Stoned (1966)
8. John Mayer & John Scofield – I Don’t Need No Doctor (2010)
9. Marlena Shaw – California Soul (1969)
10. Rosetta Hightower – Remember Me (1971)
11. Aretha Franklin – Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing (1974)
12. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Didn’t You Know (You’d Have To Cry Sometime) (1969)
13. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – The Onion Song (1969)
14. The Four Tops & The Supremes – Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand) (1970)
15. Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman (1978)
16. Diana Ross – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1970)
17. Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore – You’re All I Need To Get By (2003)
18. Roberta Flack – Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes) (1989)
19. Brothers Johnson – Ride-O-Rocket (1978)
20. Ashford & Simpson – Found A Cure (1979)

GET IT (PW in comments)

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  1. ian
    August 24th, 2011 at 11:04 | #1

    Thank you for your blog. always thoughtful, informative & totally entertaining. Today’s is sad, but gives us a look at so many songs that I would not go to the c.d. collection & put on, yet have loved for yonks. The man was a legend, RIP Nick Ashford.

  2. Re-Re
    August 24th, 2011 at 15:08 | #2

    When i heard of nicks passing it really touched my heart. always admired the couple.. never heard, nothing about the couple except good good music.. Nick had such great talent.. i had the pleasure of meeting the couple, when i workeked @ robib hood dell east very friendlly. So i just want to say my prayers are with the family . Rest in peace nick. Youre up there with the best.

  3. August 25th, 2011 at 22:59 | #3

    As usual, you humble me with your knowledge of R&B and well, music in general. I knew he was a good performer and songwriter, but his resume easily rivals Leiber and Stoller’s. What a loss.

  4. August 29th, 2011 at 15:15 | #4

    Great selection, thanks! I made my own little tribute, and selected another Ashford & Simpson related song. Check it out (and catch up on your knowledge of Dutch) at

    http://koop05.blogspot.com/

    (dowload link in comments).

  5. August 30th, 2011 at 16:48 | #5

    Solid!

    Jerry Leiber died too. Bad week for music.

  6. Jeremiah
    August 27th, 2013 at 03:40 | #6

    hey, any chance you could re-up this comp (and the early 80s ones as well, if possible)? All of the links seem to be dead.

    thanks!
    J

  7. halfhearteddude
    August 28th, 2013 at 07:12 | #7

    I’ve reupped it. http://www62.zippyshare.com/v/39398573/file.html
    PW = amdwhah

    I’ll check the others soon.

  8. Jeremiah
    August 31st, 2013 at 04:20 | #8

    awesome, thanks man!

  9. boss
    December 15th, 2015 at 10:05 | #9

    Thanks for this. You’re my Theme Time Radio Hour.

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