A real, real sad bit of news happened about six hours ago: Nick Ashford, the smooth singing voice and part of the team that has been Ashford and Simpson, with Valerie Simpson, for as much of my life as I can recall (and that’s a lot) passed away of complications due to a battle with throat cancer. He was 70 years old.
Ashford and Simpson produced song that, if I were to make a movie of my life, would be part of my years during the 70s and 80s. It’s not so much for the memories of the time, but for the fact that I just could not get the music out of my head. Song like “Solid,” featured in this music video:
Ashford & Simpson are part of what I call the “Golden Age” of Soul, when Rufus, Chaka Khan, Teddy Pendergrass, The Commodores (with Lionel Richie), The Brothers Johnson, and The Isley Brothers, to name some of the greats, defined love and life, and Soul Train, the African American-version of American Bandstand that came on at almost the same 12 noon time as Dick Clark’s legendary show.
But, and like the greats I mentioned, Ashford & Simpson’s music has lived on and become more popular, thanks to digital media. Now, you can easily hear one of my favorites, It Seems To Hang On, on YouTube.
Nick Ashford: a true signpost on the Zeitgeist. RIP.