Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Nick Ashford, soul singer and songwriter, died yesterday at the age of 69. He is known for his life-long collaboration with Valerie Simpson.

Ashford and Simpson achieved their first fame in the 1960s by writing songs for several soul legends. In 1966 they joined Motown, where they wrote the song Aint No Mountain High Enough, recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Later on, they worked with artists such as Diana Ross and Chaka Khan. In 1978 the voices of Chaka, Nick and Valerie appeared on the Quincy Jones tune Stuff Like That.

A favorite Ashford and Simpson song is Taste of Bitter Love, recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips and released in 1980. Here's a recent re-edit by Scratchandsniff.

The B-side of the Gladys Knight 12" is the Ashford and Simpson disco classic Bourgie Bourgie which the duo also recorded themselves.

Another disco classic is the title track from the album Stay Free, released in 1979.

The album also contains the classic tune Found a Cure.

Their last big hit was Solid from the same-titled 1984 album.

RIP Nick Ashford (May 4, 1942-August 22, 2011)