THE TIMES…Pastor Zackery Tims and Nicholas Ashford… gone…
August 23, 2011
Tags: Ashford & Simpson, Atlanta, Bishop Eddie Long, Bishop Eddie Long sexual scandal, Coretta Scott King, dealing with death, Dealing with loss, death, Dr. Martin L. King Jr., drug abuse and the Church, Family Values, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Millie Jackson, Motown, New York City, Nicholas Ashford dies, Pastor Zackery Tims, Pastor Zackery Tims dies, Phyllis Hyman, R&B song writers, the Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Center for Non-Violence, the King family house, The Temptations, Tyrone Davis, Valerie Simspon, WBLS
First Zackery Tims …and now Nicholas Ashford.
Oh, I know… I know that Nick was not known for writing and singing gospel music. But no one can deny that he did come from a strong gospel background… that sometimes even managed to show up in his song writing and way of singing.
And what songs they were. He was gifted… and what he didn’t have …his partner and later to become his wife… Valerie Simpson had. Together they wrote some of Motow’s best known music. Songs like ‘Ain’t No Moutain High Enough,’ ‘It Takes Two,’ ‘Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand’ ….just to name a few. And I do mean just a few… because their list does indeed truly go on and on.
For a while Val and Nick could be caught holding down the evening drive-time radio slot at WBLS,in New York City. In fact, 1 afternoon I decided to drop by BLS with the hope of getting in to see Vinny Brown, an old friend and co-worker who at the time was the Program Director for the station. While waiting …to my unexpected surprise as I happened to look up… standing before me were 2 people I would have had to be totally blind to not to have recognized from the very moment my eyes came up on them.
“Val and Nick,” I heard myself say… as my head jerked back slightly in surprise.
It just kind of eased out of my mouth… I hadn’t realized they were handling BLS’s on-air drive-time shift at that time. So, I was really surprised to look up and see them, standing right there before me… close enough for me to just reach out and touch them. Nick slightly smiled at me… while Val kind of looked off.
From the time I hit college Nick and Valerie had been busy in recording studios. So, I had looked at and played just about every album of their’s. Definitely a sign of the time… because most of the kids don’t even know what an album was …or a 45 for that matter. But yes …I had played Val and Nick for many years. And it didn’t hurt for me to be a big fan either… which meant as often as I could I would sneak them in on my music lists rotations.
As the years went on I didn’t have to continue to ease… I just played them… back to back …or however I wanted. Them and Phyllis Hyman… Donnie and Roberta… Friends of Distiction… Dells… Roy Ayres… George Duke… and whoever else I wanted to program. Including Motown’s Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye… and just so much good music… The kids don’t even have a clue… they have nothing like it today.
Nobody writes good music any more… they don’t even know what it is to have anything called ‘good lyrics.’ They… the kids are too busy buying beats. A lot of which are stolen from times gone… times that music like that during which Val and Nick came from …and wrote during.
Though they …Val and Nick had long since turned their attention to other things …such as going into the restaurant business… New York’s Sugarbar and I forget what their first restaurant was called …it had been on 22nd Street also in Manhattan.
And whenever traveling home on I-95… as I passed Stamford, CT… my mind would always run across them, as I knew that for a while at least they had made their home in Connecticut.
Having their number I called them once while seeking investors for 1 of my feature film projects. Though I failed to reach them initially… you will never know to my surprise… how thrill I was to receive a call back from them concerning the message that I had left. Val told me that they were just getting ready to open up another restaurant… which was to become the Sugarbar. So, they couldn’t afford to do it at the time. She appologized and told me maybe the next time.
I hung up not at all feeling let down. All I could think was… wasn’t that nice for them to take the time to call me back?
This is my all time favorite song by Valerie Simpson and Nicholas Ashford.
While living in Chicago… Millie J… used to visit a friend of mine by the name of
Jean… who was Tyrone Davis’ sister. Millie had come to town to perform and while talking with Jean… I overheard her say-
“While I was coming through the airport guess who I came across? These two people walking around holding hands. I didn’t even have to look twice. I knew right off it was nobody but Nick and Val.”
They had that something special… kind of like what Michelle and Obama have. A total appreciation for each other… and a desire to always be in touch with one another… as though they cannot do or bear to be without each other.
Just a few seconds ago, a friend of mine informed me that Nick had dealt with sustance abuse. Never knew that …or ever heard that. So, I don’t know for sure. I have not seen him or Val for years now. But I know their music anywhere or anyhow I hear it.
Personally, I cannot imagine Val without Nick. She loved him… and held on to him. And he loved her… and held onto her. And together they held on to each other …a profoundly good example of 2 people who truly walked in love with one another. I certainly pray her strenght in the Lord… and that of their children and other family members.
I had heard his testimony. And what an awesome testimony he had had regarding how God had saved and pulled him out of a messed up life of drug addiction… and having come from a home where nobody knew the Lord. How God had put someone in his path that gave him an invitation… and 1 day for whatever reason Zackery Tims, some 8 or so years ago… called a man on his job who had invited him to come and go to church with him. And that night he got saved… and his life was forever changed.
A megachurch Pastor having a congregation of more than 4,000 members in the Orlando, FL area… on this past Wednesday, Pastor Zackery Tims was found dead on the floor of his Time Square hotel room. The first information said… heart attack. But later information started circulating… that a white powder sustance… cocaine had been found on him.
I had long ago stopped watching him … or some reason or other. I cannot remember why… but it always seems to me that as you watch some of these television evangelists… you like them in the beginning, but then they begin to shift. And everything about them and what they are preaching changes.
I cannot say that about Pastor Tims… because I cannot remember what prompted me to stop watching his program. And it might not have had been anything with him… but a time conflict between the show schedule and my schedule.
His eyes lately were watery or shiney… glossy I guess you could say… whenever I would happen to catch the tailend or some part of his show. And I am not just saying that because I am hoping that after the autopsy is finally released… it will show any drugs in his system. Because I am not… if anything quite the opposite.
I would hate to think that he would have been drawn back… into something that he was blessed enough to have been released from. But when you think back to the events that lead to his divorce… you have to think… Well, maybe.
He was involved with a stripper for a year… that is what the article read. But if it read a year… then it is possible that it was for a longer time than that. While he was engaging in adultry with her… it is very likely that he was also indulging in other things too. And while that relationship may have ended… and who really knows… But if he was drinking or indulging in drugs as well… it is not so likely that he also just stopped abusing either. And do note I said ‘if’… because I don’t know.
I didn’t know him… or much about him except what most of you who also watched the Word Network knew about him. But I was watching the day he leaped upon the top of his pulpit podium to dramatize something he was preaching. I did think that was very odd… and all I could think was-
“That is suppose to be holy. How could he jump up on it?”
But it would seem that not much is still considered to be holy any more in church. I see preachers with baseball caps and hats on in the pulpit… and sweat suits and sneakers. Anything it seems goes today… whatever… however… whenever. My, Lord…
Whatever happened to reverencing the house …and the things of the Lord?
UPDATE: SUNDAY, January 15, 2012…As of New Years Eve this year Pastor Paula White has been chosen the Board of Regents of New Destiny Christian Center. And it would seem that since the autopsy done on the body of Pastor Tims was never released to the public…that drugs had indeed been found in the blood system of the late Pastor Zackary Tims.
With the announcement of Paula White becoming the chosen replacement… Well, it did not seem to sit right with Pastor Tims ex-wife. Tims’ ex-wife claims that Tims’ and her children are being robbed of their inheritance. You can read more on that by CLICKING the LINK below.
Since I am on the subject of Pastors… and since I did write a blog on it. Let me just note here that I read somewhere… or heard it… that Bishop Eddie Long quietly settled his cases with the young men who had filed law suits against him, for supposedly taking sexual advantage of them while they were under his religious leadership as young teenaged boys.
The settlement is said to have been $15 million total going out to the young men in question.
Visiting with a niece and enjoying myself. Can’t you tell?
I have so much time on my hands that I decided to take some of it to write this blog. I rarely have much time these days. I am on assignment… and must pick up my pace. I have to stay busy in the things of the Lord. And at the end of the day… I just want to be ready when He comes.
And for as long as I can remember that has not changed.
I still love this picture… It is sooooo refreshing looking.
Speaking of which… while talking with a cousin this evening… she told me that they were buckling down for a bad storm that they… the insurance claims agents of the company she works for …are being prep for if it should hit us this week on the east coast.
Better get out and pick up a few things for just in case. And no need to wait until the last minute… do it now since you have gotten some advance info.
One other thing… while here. My niece took me by Dr. Martin L. King’s house and the Center for Non-Violence. Took a picture with a tour guide who informed me that every house on his street was bought by the Federal Government… and the only house on the street that is not owned by the Federal Government on that street is the King house… which is still owned by the King family. But the house is open for tours …which are done on the half-hour.
It was amazing watching the people… black and white touring the grounds of the King’s house and the Center for Non-Violence. And it is all free… parking and everything without any hassles.
Mrs. Coretta Scott King was a very smart woman. A woman who was determined that her husband’s death was not going to be in vain… or forgotten. And I mean she did it… and she didn’t do it half-stepping either.
Well, God bless…
Thank you for reading this blog…and my others. Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on…” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2011
Entry Filed under: Ashford & Simpson,Atlanta,Bishop Eddie Long,Church people,Dealing with loss,death,Dr. Martin L. King,Estate Matters,Family Values,Gladys Knight,King Family,lost of love ones,Marvin Gaye,Media,MUSIC,New York,Radio Industry,Respect of History,Stevie Wonder,Stong Women,Teens,wisdom