Terry Kirkman, Co-Founder of the Association, Dead at 83
Terry Kirkman, founding member of the ‘60s folk-rock group the Association, has died at the age of 83.
The singer’s family confirmed his passing to the Los Angeles Times, noting his death was due to congestive heart failure following a long illness.
A post on the Association’s Facebook page read: “We’re saddened to report that Terry Kirkman passed away last night, RIP Terry. He will live on in our hearts and in the music he so brilliantly wrote.”
Born in Kansas but raised in Southern California, Kirkman’s music career began in the early 1960s. After some brief work with Frank Zappa, the singer co-founded the Inner Tubes alongside his future Association bandmate, Jules Alexander. The band went through a variety of lineup changes and at one time featured David Crosby and Cass Elliott.
The Inner Tubes evolved into the Men, a band which subsequently broke up in 1965. At that point, Kirkman and Alexander started their new group, the Association.
What Were the Association's Hits?
The group’s debut album, And Then... Along Comes the Association, was released in 1966. Fans were quickly swept up by the band's sunshine pop sound and sophisticated vocal harmonies. Singles “Along Comes Mary” and “Cherish” became radio hits, the latter of which – penned by Kirkman – became the group’s first No. 1 song.
Listen to 'Cherish' by the Association
The Association continued churning out material throughout the ‘60s and early ‘70s. Further hits included “Windy,” “Never My Love” and “Everything That Touches You.” The band also holds a unique place in history, having been the first act to perform at the famous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.
Though the Association enjoyed notable success, the group’s lineup was continually in flux. Kirkman was one of the band’s mainstays for several years, but departed in 1972. The Association broke up in 1978, but returned towards the end of ‘79. Kirkman was back in the lineup with the reformed group and stayed until 1984 before departing once again.
After retiring from music, Kirkman focussed on his work as an addictions counselor. He was inducted into the the Vocal Group Hall of Fame alongside other members of the Association in 2003.