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Miami Valley Music Focus explores the places and people behind the music of Southwest, Ohio.

Ohio Rocks! Hit songs from legendary Ohioans - 'As We Lay'

Sometimes, ya’ gotta do stuff, as the kids say these days, “for the culture”. Meaning, highlighting an accomplishment that has an intimate or deep impact on someone’s culture…something that may not be readily known about by the mainstream, but certainly is known and loved by a specific group of people. For the greater African-American community, and for those who appreciate The Culture, they know about As We Lay.

The song As We Lay was sung by Toledo (and Dayton) native Shirley Murdock. It was released on her 1986 (gold selling) debut album Shirley Murdock! As We Lay was released as a single in early 1987, and made it to the Top Ten of Billboard’s R&B charts (the single peaked at number 23 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart).

Sometimes, numbers don’t tell the entire story. As We Lay’s impact has been felt way past its chart numbers in 1987. The song (about a regretful woman having an affair) became a staple of The Great Black Playlist; you could hear it on any and every Quiet Storm radio show on Black radio stations for decades, and you were guaranteed it was getting played at Summer cookouts and performed at high school talent shows. It’s a safe bet that most late-stage Black women Baby Boomers and Black women Gen-Xers know the song…and love it.

Why is this song so loved?

Listen for yourself…

Now, go add this to your playlists…and see ya’ at the cookout!

Miami Valley Music Focus explores the places and people behind the music of Southwest, Ohio. This series is made possible by support from Ohio Arts Council.

Greg Simms Jr. is a veteran content creator and cultural expert who's worked for numerous digital publications over the years. He's a resident of Greene County, but he's always aware of social-cultural events happening all over the Miami Valley. To contact Greg, email him at: grgsmmsjr@gmail.com