Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ashford, Minus Simpson

Nick Ashford - I Don't Need No Doctor

Happy New Year!

Singer/songwriter/producer/actor Nick Ashford's name is almost invariably always followed by that of this equally-talented wife, Valerie Simpson, and the duo's place and pop and R&B history is secured by 1980s hits like "Solid." Most music fans know, of course, that this couple's mighty songwriting (in and out of collaboration with Jo Armstead) resulted in a great many hits for other artists. Less known are the fine recordings that they made separately and together in the '60s and '70s.

Today's selection is one of those recordings. "I Don't Need No Doctor" was a hit for Ray Charles, but Nick recorded a version of the Ashford-Simpson-Armstead tune for Verve. Nick's version has a nice Motown feel to it (not a strange thing, considering that he and Simpson were writing for the label at the time) and, although Ray's version is much stronger, the Ashford record is engaging in its own right.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Thank you for posting this! I was surprised to hear this in an NFL pre-game show a couple of years back.

A Valerie Simpson recording to be avoided is one she did with Bob Theile's Happy Times Orchestra. It's a "let's-bring-back-the-twenties" style album that has her and two other women billed as the "Good Time Girls". A gig's a gig, I guess.