"Valerie Simpson on Nick Ashford: 'I'm not used to him not being here yet'. In her first major interview since her partner's death, Simpson reflects on their work as one of music's most successful songwriting teams." From Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot.
Q: You went door to door, and I heard the first batch of songs sold for the princely sum of $64. Is that true?
A: I actually think it was $75 (laughs). That number has moved and changed over the years. We were introduced to (Josephine) Armstead, who wrote 'Let's Go Get Stoned' with us. She knew all the publishers and helped open some doors. She was about Nick's age, a former Ikette (Ike and Tina Turner's backing group) and had written some songs in Chicago. She knew more about the business than we did...
Q: What did you think of "I'll Be There for You," the huge 1995 hit for Method Man and Mary J. Blige that interpolated your song "You're All I Need to Get By"?
A: We loved it. We incorporated it into our show for a while. We'd start it off that way, and then go into the traditional version. I'm a big Mary J. fan, so anything she sings is quite all right with me. It was summertime when it came out, and it seemed to play constantly. There's a certain monotony to those types of songs sometimes, but because of those chords being what they are, that's a good type of monotony. Those are four good chords.
Q: Do you feel you got enough credit for your role in creating that song?
A: They didn't shout us out when they got the Grammy Award (for best rap performance by a duo or group), but we got the check (laughs)...