25 Aug 2011
- Written by Myron Mays
Nick Ashford, half of the singing and songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson, passed away from throat cancer on Monday (Aug. 22). He was 70.
You know, one of my favorite musical acts was – and still is – Ashford & Simpson. It’s amazing that as I am writing, I have decided to pull up a few Ashford & Simpson songs on YouTube. So many memories are going through my head right now. All of these songs remind me of great times in my childhood.
A few of my favorites that come to mind are “Solid,” “Street Corner,” “High Rise” and “Count your Blessings.” I know that these are pretty much songs from the 80’s and that they have been recording together since the early ’70’s. But hey, I’m still in my 30’s, what can I say?
Unless you are a serious music buff, you may not have known that Ashford & Simpson was not only a singing duo, they were also a songwriting duo as well, churning out all but one of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s string of hit songs in the 1960’s. In addition to the nearly 50 singles they recorded together, they were responsible for writing such hits as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Your Precious Love,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” and “You’re All I Need to Get By.” Yes, all of those!
In addition to those, Ashford & Simpson also wrote and produced hit songs for Diana Ross (“Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “The Boss”), Gladys Knight & The Pips (“Didn’t You Know You’d Have to Cry Sometime” and “The Landlord”), Teddy Pendergrass “Is It Still Good to You”), and Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman.”)
In 2002, the duo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. I cannot think of anyone to compare to Ashford & Simpson. They were in a league of their own.
“The Help” at No. 1
At the box office this weekend, “The Help” came in No. 1, edging out “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which has grossed over $130 million in just three weeks. Moneywise, “The Help” hasn’t done bad either, with a hefty $71 million in only two weeks. There are no special effects or explosions, just a great storyline and talented actors. Next week, we will see if they can hit No. 1 again and fend off new releases “Colombiana,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” and “Our Idiot Brother.”
Have I mentioned my upcoming birthday to you? Of course I have! And it will be here in less than two weeks. Have you gotten your invitation yet? Of course you have…you’re always invited. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Zodiac Lounge located at 6135 Mt. Moriah on Sept. 3 at 10 p.m.! If you would like a VIP Pass, make sure you email me at Myron @whatshappeningmyron.com!
Steppin’ at the Beignet Café
Come hang out with the Unique Steppers this Thursday night at the Beignet Café located at 124 G.E. Patterson Ave. at 8 p.m. and step the night away…at least until 11 anyway. There is a $5 cover charge, plus wine tasting. You can also come between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to actually learn the dance, if you haven’t quite mastered it yet. How cool is that? Of course you know that the Beignet Café has great food as well, right? For more information, you can call 901-652-5473.
And the Oscar goes to ... Isaac Hayes
Get by the Stax Museum of American Soul Music soon to check out the latest memorabilia on display donated by the family of Black Moses himself, Isaac Hayes. The Academy Award won by Hayes for his hit song, “Theme from Shaft,” back in 1972 is now on display at the museum and was unveiled just a few days ago. If you get the opportunity, go by and visit the museum and take a look at how Memphis influenced popular music, then and now.
For the latest info on what’s happening be sure to visit www.whatshappeningmyron.com regularly. While you’re there, click on the radio banner and listen to What’s Happening Radio! Until then, that’s what’s happening.