Entertainment Music The Hippest of the Unhip Bands: The Association History, Songs, and Music of These Sunshine Pop Mainstays Share PINTEREST Email Print The Association Music Oldies Major Artists Genres & Styles Top Picks 60s Hits 70s Hits Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Classical Music Country Music Folk Music Rap & Hip Hop Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Latin Music Learn More By Robert Fontenot Robert Fontenot Robert Fontenot Jr. is an entertainment critic and journalist focusing on classic rock and roll and published nationally for more than 25 years. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 04/07/19 They were notoriously square in the Sixties, the pop sellout answer to "real" psychedelic and rock groups, but The Association was actually a very talented group of musicians with at least one visionary songwriter, a band capable of rocking out, crafting gentle adult contemporary ballads, or going full sunshine pop when necessary. Most Popular Songs "Windy""Along Comes Mary""Cherish""Never My Love""Everything That Touches You""Requiem for the Masses""No Fair at All""Time for Livin'""Six Man Band""Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies" "Along Comes Mary" has gained a reputation as a clever drug song (it's unsure if that's true), and "Cherish" remains one of the era's most durable and romantic ballads. Their biggest recent exposure, however, has got to be in "Breaking Bad," where "Windy" served as the world's most ironic cold opening ever. Formed 1965 (Los Angeles, CA) Styles Pop, Pop-rock, Soft rock, Adult contemporary, Folk-rock, Psychedelia, Sunshine pop Classic Association Lineup Jules Alexander (b. Gary Alexander, September 25, 1943, Chattanooga, TN): vocals, guitarTerry Kirkman (b. December 12, 1941, Salina, KS): vocals, brass, woodwindsRuss Giguere (b. October 18, 1943, Portsmouth, NH): vocals, guitarJim Yester (b. November 24, 1939, Birmingham, AL): vocals, guitar, keyboardsBrian Cole (b. September 8, 1942, Tacoma, WA; d. August 2, 1972, Los Angeles, CA): vocals, bassLarry Ramos (b. Hilario Ramos, Jr., April 12, 1942, Waimea, Kauai, HI): vocals, bass, guitarTed Bluechel, Jr. (b. December 2, 1942, San Pedro, CA): vocals, drums Claims to Fame At the forefront of the folk movement's assimilation into California popA multi-instrumentalist band that also performed six-part harmonies live on stageExperimented with psychedelic and protest music earlier than most pop groupsCreated a lush adult contemporary sound that still contained a hipster's edgeThought to have been one of the first bands to endorse marijuana on their hit "Along Comes Mary"One of pop's all-time most romantic groups Early Years The Association began life as the thirteen-member (!) vocal group The Men, formed by Kirkman and Alexander as a response to what they saw as the timidity of large folk groups like The New Christy Minstrels. Keeping all those people on the same page proved to be difficult, and though they'd already become the house band at Los Angeles' influential Troubadour club, a heated argument led to six members walking out of the room. Originally planning to call themselves the Aristocrats, Kirkman's wife went to look the name up in a dictionary and instead came back with The Association, which seemed a better name. Success A few ambitious singles flopped, but the b-side of a single called "Your Own Love" caught the ear of several deejays, and the song "Along Comes Mary" became a smash in 1966. Several follow-ups scored, some written by the band, some not: "Cherish," one of their most popular original ballads, was garnering massive crowd support at the Minstrels' shows, but Kirkman refused to let anyone but his band cut it. At the same time, the group experimented with the burgeoning psychedelic and protest movements, but these singles sold considerably worse than the ballads and breezy sunshiny pop hits like "Windy." Later Years As the Sixties progressed, the Association fell more and more out of favor with youth due to their AM radio sound and the fact that they didn't play their own instruments on those hit records (they were classically trained musicians, but their labels insisted on L.A.s famous Wrecking Crew of session men anyway). The death of founding member Brian Cole in 1973 was the final nail in the group's coffin, yet after a 1979 television special found them still in possession of the old magic, they began an Eighties touring comeback that continues—in various forms, with various members—today. The Association Facts and Trivia Other members have included: Bob Page [b. May 13, 1943): vocals, guitarThe group's 1968 hit "Windy" was composed by an outside writer about her freewheeling grandfather, and the lyrics changedThe vocal tracks on the Association's early hits were recorded at completely different studios than the music, an almost unheard-of practice at the timeThe vocals on "Windy" were actually handled mainly by assorted people hanging around the studio, as the two leads had burned their voices out on multiple takesJim Yester has played with versions of the Modern Folk Quartet, The Four Preps, and The Lovin' SpoonfulThey were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. The Association Hit Singles and Albums Number #1 Pop Hits: "Cherish" (1966)"Windy" (1967) Top 10 Pop Hits: "Along Comes Mary" (1966)"Never My Love" (1967)"Everything That Touches You" (1968) Top 10 Pop Albums: And Then... Along Comes The Association (1966)Insight Out (1967)Greatest Hits (1969) Notable Covers The Bloodhound Gang played up the supposed marijuana intimations of "Along Comes Mary" in their deadpan-punk 1999 version; Blue Swede followed up their bizarre "ooga chaka" version of "Hooked on a Feeling" with a upbeat, Beatles-themed version of "Never My Love" that was nearly as jarring; the cast of Glee took a crack at "Cherish" back in 2012 Movies and TV The Association were asked to provide the title song for the 1969 Richard Benjamin / Ali McGraw comedy Goodbye, Columbus; the band's last known TV sighting found them performing several holiday songs in the 1984 special Scrooge's Rock 'N' Roll Christmas.