In 1967, which hit song was recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell?
And the answer: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
The song was written by Motown songwriting duo Ashford and Simpson. While it was also later recorded by The Supremes and The Temptations, the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
"Ain't No Mountain" might be a pop hit, but the song was heavily influenced by Ashford and Simpson's gospel roots. The pair originally met in 1964 in a Harlem church. Interestingly, inspiration for the song came from a walk through New York's Central Park. The "mountain" in the title was the city’s skyscrapers, representing the ambition of songwriter Ashford.
Upon its release on April 20, 1967, the song made a disappointing debut at No.19 in the US. While it's now regarded as a classic, the momentum for the song took years to pick up. And, tragically, singer Tammi Terrell passed away from a brain tumor at just 24 years old – too young to experience the song's widespread success. In 1968, The Supremes and The Temptations recorded it together, with Diana Ross and the Tempts' powerful new lead singer, Dennis Edwards, at the front. It was an instant hit.
After countless samples and remakes (most notably, perhaps, Amy Winehouse's "Tears Dry On Their Own"), "Ain't No Mountain" remains a classic pop hit and testament to the songwriting prowess of Ashford and Simpson. Listen to the track below.