Valerie Simpson launches solo career in SF


May 9, 2012 5:39:14 PM PDT
The legendary Motown duo of Ashford and Simpson wrote some of music's biggest hits. Nick Ashford died last August and now his widow, Valerie Simpson, is launching a solo career in San Francisco.

Never thinking their songs would last, Ashford and Simpson endured in concert halls and intimate clubs like the Rrazz Room. Now, Valerie opens her first week-long solo engagement back there again.

She leaned on Nick like a cushion, she says. Now, she is on stage, alone. She has just released her first solo album in four decades called "Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again." She recorded it 11 years ago then it sat on a shelf. It includes the last recording Nina Simone ever made.

As she reflects in solitude before her shows, she believes the man who was her partner in song and in life is watching over her.