Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

R.I.P. - Nick Ashford

Any compliation [or mixtape - remember those?] of '80s classics would have to include Ashford & Simpson's "Solid (as a rock)" - a bit of a chiche now, but looking at the video again the other day it is still joyous, uplifting and rocking and a great memory of that time - mid-'80s funk and disco.

I have just read that Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday at age 70.
Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown's biggest hits, He had been suffering from throat cancer.
Though they had some of their greatest success at Motown with classics like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand" by Ross and "You're All I Need To Get By" by Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Ashford & Simpson also created classics for others, like the anthem "I'm Every Woman" by Khan (and later remade by Whitney Houston). They also had success writing for themselves: Perhaps the biggest known hit sung by them was the 1980s hit "Solid As A Rock." Their first major success occurred when they came up with "Let's Go Get Stoned" for Ray Charles. That song became a huge hit, and soon, they came to the attention of Motown Records and began penning hits for their artists. The duo, who were married for 38 years, helped sell millions of records for several artists.

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