The Association

This post has been revised.  Please see: The Association!

Gary: Russ asked me this afternoon about the Seventies, and did I like the music?  The answer, Yes, great music, I was not in love with Disco, but it was fun.

I will admit that I enjoyed the 50’s and 60’s more, but we will eventually visit them all.  So hang on to your Hat’s kids, this is a group, if you can believe it, my wife Birgit (the background music person) really enjoys.

Well, they did sell over 33 million records. Oh yes and Russ, we will  (almost) get into the seventies.

So here they are —

The Association

Members for the Hits
Russ Giguere
Larry Ramos
Jim Yester
Bruce Pictor
Del Ramos
Jordan Cole

1.   Along Comes Mary/ Valiant 741/ June 1966/ #7 Billboard

2.   Cherish/ Valiant 747/ Sept. 1966/ #1 (3) Billboard

3.   Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies (Sunset Strip Nightclub Pandora’s Box/ Dec 66/ #35 Billboard

4.   Windy/ Warner 7041/ June 1967/ #1 (4) Billboard

5.   Never My Love (Gary’s favourite)/ Warner 7074/ September 1967/ #2 (2) Billboard

6.   Everything that touches You/ Warner 7163/ February 1968/ #10 Billboard

7.   Time for Livin’/ Warner 7195/ June 1968/ #39 Billboard

The Association was formed in 1965 after the breakup of an eleven-man electric “folk” group called THE MEN, the first “folk rock” group in America.

The six-man Association rehearsed for five solid months and then began performing at nightclubs (The Troubador, The Icehouse, etc.), coffeehouses, folk clubs, high schools, colleges, proms and parties throughout California.

The intense rehearsal and hard work paid off. Before the release of their first album, the group had a fan base exceeding twenty-five thousand. That base soon became millions as “Along Comes Mary” and “Cherish”, both from their first album, topped the charts.

The Association is the first electric group to break through the anti-rock biases in many of the major venues across the country. They were the first electric group to perform at Hollywood’s Greek Theatre, The Coconut Grove, The Copacabana, Tanglewood Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, The Latin Casino, Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Ravinia Park.

In 1967 The Association was given the honor of opening the first international pop festival in America, The Monterey Pop Festival.

The Association appeared on every major television variety show at the time — Ed Sullivan (twice), The Smothers Brothers (three times), American Bandstand (again and again), Shindig, The Carson Show, The Cavett Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Carol Channing Special…the list goes on and on.

Ed Sullivan Video

However, being on the road for so many years, with over two thousand concerts and television performances, inevitably took its toll, and the group began parting ways in 1972 to pursue individual careers and interests.

After a one-time-only reunion for a cable TV music special in 1979, The Association, with much industry encouragement, got it together again and put in on the road.

Live in 1983

“On the road” is right. During the last five years, The Association has sung and played every state in the Union, most of the Canadian provinces, Bermuda, Athens, the Phillipines, the major showrooms in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, The Happy Together Tour 1984, music festivals, colleges, fairs, every large theme park on the continent, supper clubs, hotels and conventions, television shows (Tom Snyder Show, John Davidson Show, Mike Douglas Show, American Bandstand, Solid Gold Summer Special), and countless local radio and television interviews.

Here is what Mark Faris said of The Association in a review:

“Remarkably, not only did the six-man band sound as fresh as it did in the old days, it looked even fresher…dancing and laughing throughout the show, the finely-tuned outfit swept through the room like a summer breeze complete with blue skies and sunshine, smoothly and confidently exchanging leads, then blending in precision vocal harmonies. Jules Alexander, Larry Ramos, and Russ Giguere (who looks like a combination of Clint Eastwood and David Bowie, with a touch of Dance Fever) wasted no time in refreshing the crowd’s memories.”

The bottom line is simple. They’re looking and sounding better than ever! (castproductions)



3 responses to “The Association

  1. I’m impressed that they could actually duplicate their recorded sound on The Ed Sullivan Show. I had assumed they were just singers who used session players for their records. I guess not. I’ll have to give em a second listen now. A friend of mine who used to manage the Toubadour in LA, one of the first clubs they played in the 60s, claims the Association were the first band to call themselves “folk-rock.” “Never My Love” was my favorite of theirs.

  2. Yeah, I had the pleasure of doing a gig on the same program as The Association and their sound was awesome… sounded better than the recording because it was live. Their harmonies were so tight, it was exhilarating.

  3. Mea culpa. I have not given them their props over the last 45 years! (I think I got burned out hearing Windy every 2 minutes all summer in New York City in 1967!!))

    I also realize—after reading your posts—that the 1960-1964 pop music era wasn’t quite so barren as I’ve portrayed it. I’m biased towards the early rock & rollers on one end (Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly) and the Beatles’ transformation of rock a few years later. But there was some soulful Doo Wop & Rockabilly in the “between years,” as well as some good early Motown/soul stuff. Thanks for the education!

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