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The Association

60s - The Association

With rich harmonies, solid songwriting skills and a flair for romantic ballads, The Association earned their place in pop music history with a string of hit singles from 1966 to 1968. Celebration of the 60s music would not be complete without recognizing The Association.  This 1960s group produced seven top 40 hits with 2 of them notching the top slot. 

The Association formed in Los Angeles in early 1965, the sextet consisted of guitarist, composer and arranger Gary Alexander, guitarist and drummer Ted Bluechel, bassist Brian Cole, lead vocalists and guitarists Russ Giguere and Jim Yester and singer and composer Terry Kirkman.

Alexander left the band in 1967 to study meditation in India and was replaced by Larry Ramos who had once played with the New Christy Minstrels.

A favorite on the college circuit, The Association's first single was a remake of Bob Dylan's "On Too Many Mornings."  It was followed by "Along Comes Mary," which reached the Top 10 in the summer of 1966. With its exquisite vocal blend and sweeping sentimentality,"Cherish," released in September of that same year, was the group's First Number One hit.  "Windy," an engaging paean to a free spirited femme was written for the group by a 19-year old fan.  It also reached Number One, where it stayed for over a month in June 1967.

 

The Asssociation is notable for being the opening band at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.

"Never My Love," of September 1967, a song that launched a thousand love affairs was another outstanding Assocation ballad and a Number two hit.  Released in 1968, "Everything That Touches You, was their last Top Ten hit.

In 1969 Alexander returned to the band with Ramos staying.  They were now a 7 man band. The first project with the seven-piece band was music for the soundtrack of Goodbye, Columbus, the film version of Philip Roth's best-selling novel. The title track, written by Yester, rose only to #80, an ominous sign in retrospect. John Boylan, who would become one of the most important record producers of the '70s and '80s, worked with the group on the soundtrack, and stayed on board for the next album, The Association. Not surprisingly, many of the tracks have a decided country-rock feel. None of the singles made any impact, so the group re-teamed with Curt Boettcher for a one-off single, "Just About the Same", a reworking of a song Boettcher had recorded with his group, The Millennium. This failed to hit as well.

Currently, the band includes Russ Giguere, Larry Ramos, Del Ramos on vocals and bass, Bruce Pictor, Bob Werner (vocals, guitar and bass since 1999) and most interestingly, Jordan Cole (son of Brian) on keyboards and vocals, who also joined in 1999. It was recently anounced by the Association's Official website that Jim Yester has rejoined the band. The Association still tours, playing up to 70 dates a year, mostly on bills with other similar styled acts of that era, like the Grass Roots, the Buckinghams, Tommy James, Gary Puckett, etc. In 2003, they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

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