Tribute to Ashford & Simpson
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.
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)