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Ashford and Simpson 4

Posted by Legacy Recordings On February - 22 - 2009

“I look cool but on the inside I’m a nervous wreck” – Nick Ashford.  As they began their career as performers, Nick and Valerie found some challenges in appearing on stage, as Nick details in this podcast.  “In the early years, I was just uncomfortable.  They would put towels around me I’d sweat so much before I’d even go on.”  But they also found they enjoyed meeting most anyone could help with songwriting, as Nick explains “I get inspiration from the people I meet.  Seems like everybody’s got a story.  What people are feeling, that’s what we want to write about.”  Their longevity and success may be built on this simple idea, and may be why President Barack Obama has a special version of one of their songs.  As Nick says, “You can do it, if you have the energy and the will to do it.”

Songs included: “Found A Cure” “I’m Every Woman” “Solid (as Barack)”

Producer: Joyride Media

Recommended: Ashford & Simpson: The Real Thing

Ashford and Simpson 3

Posted by Legacy Recordings On February - 15 - 2009

Nick and Valerie describe their years as songwriters with Motown, and the moment when they asked Berry Gordy for a “divorce,” so they could become artists themselves.  It turned out to be the best of both worlds, as they would frequently return to work with various Motown artists, while continuing to grow as performers themselves.  Valerie Simpson maintains a generous point of view on writing for others: “I wear the hat of a songwriter when I’m writing.  That’s the idea — for some great artist to sing your song.  I’m really happy when I hear Diana Ross sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” — I could not have done that better!”  Reflecting on the countless covers of that most famous composition, she says, “the song belongs to everyone.”Songs included:  “I’m Every Woman” “Your Precious Love” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand”

Producer: Joyride Media

Recommended: Ashford & Simpson: The Real Thing

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Ashford and Simpson 2

Posted by Legacy Recordings On February - 8 - 2009

For part 2, Ashford and Simpson discuss how they first got introduced at Motown.   They almost ran out before the meeting started, so thank got they stuck around.   This piece includes bits of Nickolas and Valerie’s own performances of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “You’re All I Need to Get By” from their new live CD/DVD release The Real Thing.

Producer: Joyride Media

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Ashford and Simpson 1

Posted by Legacy Recordings On February - 1 - 2009

We launch our 28 days of Black History series with the first of four segments on legendary songwriting duo Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.  These two have been responsible for many of the biggest r&b hits of the last 40 years – including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “I’m Every Woman,” and their own classic “Solid.”

The Real Thing – their new live album is in stores now on CD and DVD, featuring brand-new performances of these classic songs and many more.

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