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Headline : ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’: Marvin And Tammi’s Towering Pop Classic

Read more from the original article on here at www.udiscovermusic.com.





Tags : #aint #mountain #high #enough #marvin #tammis #towering #pop #classic



No. of Paragraph 12

It was one of the most glorious achievements in 60s music, rising from a delicate opening to a shattering climax. If the 60s gave us the love generation, here was an anthem full of love. If soul was about physical passion in a gospel context, this song is its apex. Full of artistry, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is, fittingly, a pop pinnacle.

Though its roots lie in gospel, the song was inspired by a walk through Central Park, Manhattan, and the mountain of the title was the city’s skyscrapers, representing the ambition of songwriter Nick Ashford. He’d met his wife and composing partner, Valerie Simpson, in 1964 at a Harlem church, and, alongside fellow-writer Jo Armstead, made a major breakthrough with 1966’s “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” a smash for Ray Charles. But Ashford and Simpson had an eye on a contract at Motown, and believed that a new composition, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” was what Ashford called “the golden egg.” Dusty Springfield heard it and liked it, but the canny tunesmiths held on to it, believing this moving song could provide leverage at Motown. It did.

Tammi Terrell was Marvin Gaye’s third female duet partner at Motown. He’d already enjoyed hits with Mary Wells and Kim Weston, but both quit the company, leaving Marv to pursue solo success. And Marvin really did see himself as a solo artist, saying, “I didn’t start with a group. I started as a singular performer. There was a group of us in church, and my [preacher] father used to call me up singularly… which was rather frightening at first. I guess I came on.”

Motown signed Tammi Montgomery in 1965; formerly of James Brown’s revue, she’d recorded a few singles at other labels. Motown renamed her Tammi Terrell and, after some moderate-selling solo releases, decided to try her as Gaye’s female foil, starting with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Gaye said: “That was a good beginning because I had no idea Tammi was as good a singer as she turned out to be. I hadn’t had a chance to hear her. Some people [at Motown] who were on their toes dug her sound and realized we may possibly make a good duet. Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson wrote “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and we thought it was fantastic. A tremendous piece of material.”

Read more from the original article on here at www.udiscovermusic.com.


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