R.I.P. mr. Simpson

One of the most amazing songwriters passed away this week. Nickolas Ashford (May 4, 1941 – August 22, 2011) and Valerie Simpson, were a husband and wife songwriting/production team and recording artists. In 1966 year Ashford & Simpson joined Motown, where their best-known songs included Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, You’re All I Need To Get By and Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing. For Diana Ross they wrote hits like: Surrender and The Boss. For Chaka Kahn they wrote the anthem I’m every woman and Clouds. As performers, Ashford and Simpson’s best-known songs are “Found a cure” and “Solid”. The duo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. Recently they were given writing credit on Amy Winehouse’s 2007 CD Back to Black for the single “Tears Dry On Their Own” wich is based on a sample of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

In recent times, Ashford & Simpson recorded and toured sporadically, but thanks to Kees Heus (KC The Funkaholic) they performed in Amsterdam (Paradiso) a few years ago, and i was lucky to be there!

They also responsible for one of my all-time-favourite songs: California Soul. There are many versions of this song, but i think Marlene Shaw is the best.

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