Ashford & Simpson, 35 years and going strong


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"Ain't nothin' like the real thing" is a classic Ashford & Simpson hit. Writing for Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye they created Motown magic.

"We were thrilled," said Valerie Simpson. "It's a songwriters dream to have a song recorded and run up the charts."

But it wasn't always that way. They had written the hit "Let's go get stoned" for Ray Charles. However, that wasn't the kind of music Motown wanted. So they regrouped.

"When we came back to Motown, then we had the right songs," said Nick Ashford. "Like 'Ain't no mountain high enough' -- we knew then that's what they needed. We call 'Ain't no mountain' the golden egg that landed us at Motown."

Hits followed. Along the way the writing partnership turned into romance. They have been married 35 years.

After Motown, they took the act on the road, from stadiums to intimate clubs like the Rrazz Room in San Francisco.

"You can't fool them in a room like this, they're right on top of you," said Simpson.

If you thought your commute was tough last week, check this out. They're doing Oprah on Thursday, but they have a Wednesday night performance.

"We'll do our show and jump on that plane at 11 something, head on to Chicago, do her show Thursday morning, then jump back on the plane and be back here," said Simpson

They're in San Francisco for two weeks, then off to Tokyo. The duo is also working on writing a Broadway show.

They have clearly made their partnership work.

For ticket information visit

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