Friday, August 26, 2011
Nick Ashford, the Motown Duo Writing, 70 dead
Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson, who, lyricist partner and later his wife wrote some of Motown's biggest hits, like "Is not No Mountain High Enough" and "there's nothing like Real Thing," before they remade their careers as a duo recordings and concerts, died on Monday in New York. He was 70 and lived in Manhattan.
Mr. Ashford for throat cancer and was undergoing treatment at a hospital in New York, but the cause of his death was not immediately reported. His death was announced by the music publicist Liz Rosenberg.
One of the major Motown songs and the production team, Ashford & Simpson specializes in the romantic duet with the most dramatic kind, confessing the power of true love and sweet talk amenities. In 1967, the first of several hits for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, lovers in close harmony to proclaim its determination that "no wind, no rain, no winter is cold, it can stop me, baby" is not No Mountain High Enough, Is "', as well as making promises prettier" If ever in trouble, I'll be there on the double. " Gaye and Terrell duet he sang the song "Your Precious Love," "not Nothing Like The Real Thing Is" and "You're All I Need to Get By." After leaving the Supremes in 1970, Diana Ross sang her "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand", and a year later, her version of "not No Mountain High Enough Is" became her first number one as a solo artist.
"They were magic, and what makes these great hits that magic" Verdin White Earth, Wind and Fire told The Associated Press after hearing of his friend's death. "Without these songs, these artists would not be able to go to the next level."
Nickolas Ashford was born on 4 May 1941 in Fairfield, SC, and raised in Willow Run, Michigan, where his father, Calvin, was a construction worker. He begins the musical Willow Run Baptist Church, singing and writing songs for gospel choir. He briefly attended Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, before leaving for New York where he tried but failed to find success as a dancer.
In 1964, while the homeless, Mr. Ashford went to the White Rock Baptist Church in Harlem, where he met Mrs. Simpson, 17-year-old recent high school graduate, who studied music. They began writing songs together, selling the first bouquet for $ 64. In 1966, when Ray Charles sang "Let's Go Get Stoned," Ashford & Simpson song he wrote with Josephine Armstead, the duo signed to Motown as the writers and producers.
They wrote practically every major label act, including Gladys Knight and the pips ("Did you know that you do not have to Cry Some") and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ("Who's Gonna Take guilt").
When writing for Motown, Ashford & Simpson nurtured a desire to do that Berry Gordy Jr., founder of the label, discouraged.They left the label in 1973 and married in 1974.
Initial cooperation Ashford & Simpson sold poorly, but at the end of the 70s steel handles on the upper levels of rhythm-and-blues charts with songs like "It costs nothing," "seems to Hang On" and "Cure Found." Their biggest success was "Solid", since 1984, which went to No. 12 on the charts in the U.S. and the UK grew up No. 3
They sang monogamous devotion, and their cover pair were pictured pulling usually closely in various states of undress. But with his shock of black hair slicked, shirts open to the sternum and playful smile, Mr. Ashford also cut a great figure as a seducer, at the 70th swinging.
Continues to write for other singers. "I'm Every Woman" became a hit for Chaka Khan in 1978, and later for Whitney Houston on the soundtrack to the 1992 film "The Bodyguard."
In 1996 he opened the Sugar Bar in the West 72nd Street in Manhattan. Recently they got credit for the Amy Winehouse song "Tears Dry On Their Own", in which the sample of "Is not No Mountain High Enough."
Mr. Ashford survived Mrs. Simpson, and two daughters, Nicole and Asia, three brothers, Paul, Albert and Frank, and his mother, Alice Ashford.
Ashford & Simpson toured throughout their careers, their vocal harmony and mutual illustrating the passion of their words and their life together.
"When Mrs. Simpson sits down at the piano and starts singing in a light pop-gospel voice, unchanged since 1970," Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote in a review published in 2007, "she awakens the spirit and tosses it to Mr. Ashford,whose quirkier voice, with its airy falsetto, gain strength from the old days. Soon encourage each other. Until the romantic winds relay to the end, both are sweating profusely, and the audience is delirious. "
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: August 25, 2011
Obituary in some editions on Tuesday about singer songwriter Nick Ashford and the false name of a woman with whom Mr. Ashford and Valerie Simpson wrote the Ray Charles hit "Let's Go Get Stoned." She is not Josephine Armstead, Joey. (Over the years she has been variously billed as Josephine, Jo, Josie, and Joshi).