Ashford & Simpson

Formed 1964.

Biography

Nickolas Ashford (May 4, 1941 – August 22, 2011) and Valerie Simpson (born August 26, 1946) were a husband and wife songwriting-production team and recording artists.

Ashford was born in Fairfield, South Carolina, and Simpson in the Bronx, New York. They met at Harlem's White Rock Baptist Church in 1964. After having recorded unsuccessfully as a duo, they joined an aspiring solo artist and former member of the Ikettes, Joshie Jo Armstead, at the Scepter/Wand label, where their compositions were recorded by Ronnie Milsap ("Never Had It So Good"), Maxine Brown ("One Step At A Time"), as well as the Shirelles and Chuck Jackson. Another of the trio's songs, "Let's Go Get Stoned", gave Ray Charles a number one U.S. R&B hit in 1966. That same 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", "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing", and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)". Ashford and Simpson wrote many other hit songs, including Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman" (1978) and Teddy Pendergrass's "Is It Still Good to You?". As performers, Ashford & Simpson's best-known duets are "Solid (As a Rock)" (1984 US and 1985 UK) and "Found a Cure" (1979). The duo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. Ashford and Simpson were also recipients of The Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award in 1999, and ASCAP's highest honor, the Founder's Award, which they received in 1996.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Hits, Remixes and Rarities: The Warner Brothers Years

    Hits, Remixes and Rarities: The Warner Brothers Years 2008

    Reviewed by Adam Webb
    For rare groove aficionados it doesn’t get any better than this...
  2. Review of Is It Still Good To Ya

    Is It Still Good To Ya 1978

    Reviewed by Dan Cocker
    The duo's breakthrough masterpiece