Two Great Male Songwriters Are Dead: Let’s Pick Their Best Hits


Nick Ashford (of Ashford and Simpson) has left us, on the heels of Jerry Leiber’s (of Leiber and Stoller) passing.

There’s going to be a whole lotta amazing singing in rock-and-roll heaven.

Ashford and Simpson were responsible for a lot of the great Motown hits, as well as a later classic, “I’m Every Woman,” and their own recordings, like “Found a Cure” and “Solid as a Rock.”

Leiber and Stoller gave us the Elvis smash “Hound Dog” and other infectious chart toppers like “Poison Ivy” and “Yakety Yak.”

My favorite tune of each duo:

For A&S, it was “You’re All I Need to Get By,” the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell duet filled with soaring hope and great harmonies.

For L&S, it has to be “Is That All There Is?” the surprise hit for Peggy Lee that had a Brechtian feeling as it intoned a series of life’s calamities with a jaded eye toward existentialism.