Valerie Simpson (b. 26 August 1946, Bronx, N.Y.) is a composer and performer of R&B music.
Valerie met her future husband and performing partner, Nick Ashford, at Harlem's White Rock Baptist Church in 1964.
After having recorded unsuccessfully as a duo, they joined an aspiring solo artist and former member of the Ikettes, Joshie Jo Armstead, at the Scepter/Wand label, where their compositions were recorded by Ronnie Milsap (Never Had It So Good), Maxine Brown (One Step at a Time), as well as the Shirelles and Chuck Jackson. Another of the trio's songs, Let's Go Get Stoned, gave Ray Charles a number one U.S. R&B hit in 1966. That same year, Ashford & Simpson joined Motown, where their best-known songs included Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, You're All I Need To Get By, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, and Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand). Ashford and Simpson wrote many other hit songs, including Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman (1978) and Teddy Pendergrass's Is It Still Good to You?.
As performers, Ashford & Simpson's best-known duets are Solid and Found a Cure' (1979). The duo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. Ashford and Simpson were also recipients of The Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award in 1999, and ASCAP's highest honor, the Founder's Award, which they received on March 18, 1996.
Works for Winds
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (arr. Bocook) (1967/2004)
- I’m Every Woman (arr. Story) (1993)
- Reach Out and Touch Someone (arr. Cook)
- Solid (arr. Cook)
- Ashford & Simpson, Wikipedia Accessed 12 August 2016.