www.whyville.net Feb 13, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

The Music Never Died

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Hello Whyville I went to this concert the other night, and I saw these two amazing African-American singers. I thought I wouldn't like the music, because it was for older people. But when I started listening, I realized this music is much better than this junk playing on the radio! Their career name is Ashford and Simpson. They are a successful husband and wife. Well when I looked at their biography I was shocked to find out their real ages. Here's more of the biography, enjoy.

His name is Nikolas Ashford and he was born May 4, 1942, in Fairfield, South Carolina. Her name is Valeria Simpson and she was born August 26, 1946, in Bronx, New York. They started their career in the 1960's. They wrote songs for artists such as Ray Charles, The Fifth Dimension, and Aretha Franklin. They joined the Motown staff in 1967. Motown is record company that started African-American careers. Another Motown artist that they worked with is the famous singer Diana Ross. Other artists that they were successful with are Chaka Khan, Brother Johnson, Teddy Pendegrass, and Rufus.

They actually started their singing career in 1964. They recorded the song "I'll Find You". They recorded it as their previous career name "Valerie and Nick". They had several other singles that they recorded on Verve, Glover, and ABC. Other songs include "It Ain't Like That", " California Soul", and "Dead End Kids". After working with other artists, Valerie was a featured soloist for the songs "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and "What's Going On" that was on the Quincy Jones album Gula Matari. Nikolas recorded two fabulous solos for Motown including "Valerie Simpson Exposed", which was released in 1971. In 1973 Valerie and Nikolas left the business.

Valerie and Nikolas said, "I do" in 1973. They produced with a Warner Brothers album called, Something Real. They had 5 hit singles from 1977 from 1984 such as their biggest and my favorite one "Solid". Ever heard of the song "I'm Every Woman"? Valerie wrote that song for Diana Ross and Oprah Winfrey had it as her theme song for more than 10 years! On his own, Nikolas wrote the huge hit "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", which Diana Ross recorded. He also appeared in the movie New Jack City, in 1991.

Nikolas and Valerie have wrote, recorded, and toured all over the world. In 1996 they opened up the restaurant called The Sugar Bar in New York City, which has live entertainment. Every Thursday is 'Open Mic Night' where Queen Latifah and Felicia Collins have performed. In 2007, along with Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige they joined Oprah in opening her school for disadvantaged girls in South America. And you might have even seen them on the hit show "American Idol" a few seasons back.

They've made over 30 albums from 1960 to 2005. They are currently in their 60's living in New York City. If you have the chance go to music.aol.com and type in Ashford and Simpson, you'll love them. Well this is CupOfCake signing off to listen to "Solid" for the 100th time.


Sources: www.disco-funk.co.uk/a/ashford_.htm


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