Billboard #1s for the Week Ending December 1, 1984

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Wham! 3
R & B Solid Ashford & Simpson 1
Country Your Heart’s Not In It Janie Fricke 1
Adult Contemporary Penny Lover Lionel Richie 3
Rock Run to You Bryan Adams 3
Album Purple Rain Prince and the Revolution 18

A&SSolidThis week sees a legendary R&B writing, producing, and singing team log their biggest hit. Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson met in Harlem in 1964. They began singing together with little success, so they turned their hands to writing. Initially garnering some success at Sceptre/Wand, they moved to Motown in 1968. They became a powerhouse there, writing and sometimes producing such hits as 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). Together and alone they rank among the most successful songwriters on the Billboard charts.

As performers, they signed with Warner in 1974 and racked up  a reasonable string of R&B hits including Found A Cure [#2 R&B, #36 Pop, 1979]. This week their song Solid, a celebration of love triumphant, becomes their lone #1, topping the R&B chart for the first of three weeks. In its fourth week on the Hot 100, it eased from #69 to #62, on its way to #12, their biggest success on that chart. They continued to record and perform for another decade, slowing down in the 90s. Ashford died of throat cancer in 2011; Simpson remains a presence in the entertainment industry.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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