Long before they were the very earthy (Valerie the Virgo, Nick the Taurus) duo reeling off smashes like “Solid” they were newlyweds on the New York recording scene. They were Valerie Simpson and Nickolas Ashford, fresh faced, optimistic and full of harmony and songwriting ideas.
While they started to hone their songwriting craft, they reeled off a quick 3 singles of swinging soul for the Glover label in 1964. Their first out the gate, the lovely stalker number “I’ll Find You” did make it to the Bubbling Under section of the Billboard charts. So there was plenty of optimism that this new couple-recording duo would have more success throughout the year.
But the bulk of their work went into writing songs alongside new songwriting partner Josephine Armstead and becoming session singers for numerous acts at the Brill Building (notably they most prominently feature on The Sapphires slew of singles during 1965). Building an impressive catalog of moderate hits through 1965 and 1966, and their innate talents made them the perfect people to craft the ultimate duet partnership of the decade. No need to lie about love between these two, it so clearly shined in their work from the absolute beginning.