It's a brand new feature running in Forgotten Hits throughout 2022 ...
Look for a new piece on the 15th of every month as authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March share excerpts and interviews from their EXCELLENT series of books "Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone?" (These books offer great insight and profiles of our favorite artists from the '60's and '70's, in their own words, and make for excellent reading.) In fact, we're even calling this new monthly series "INSIGHTS INTO ..." ... and we're convinced that after reading these short excerpts, you'll want to pick up copies for your very own collection so that you can enjoy "the rest of the story." You'll find ordering links at the end of each month's piece.
And so now ... without any further adieu ... here is Chapter One ...
Insights into … the Association
[12 Billboard Hot 100 singles, 1966–81; three certified RIAA gold]
In 1967 the radio Program Directors of America voted the Association the No. 1 group of the year, becoming the first group to unseat the Beatles after three consecutive years. During the mid- and late 1960s, the Association appeared on more than 30 major television shows, including the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, the Ed Sullivan Show, and the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and were the only group to have an entire American Bandstand show in 1969 devoted to their music. This national exposure and their reputation for polished performances brought them concert dates at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Tanglewood (home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Ravinia Park in Chicago — prestigious venues that had catered to mature audiences and had never before hosted a self-contained rock group.
The Association’s concert tours broke numerous attendance records, including exceeding by 3,000 a 1958 record set by the Kingston Trio at Ravinia Park. On August 2, 1967, an enthusiastic crowd of 17,432 fans jammed into Ravinia to see the Association, who by then held two No. 1 singles — “Cherish” and “Windy.” The “Insights” title for this recurrent series of articles was inspired by the title of the Association’s 1967 Warner Bros. album Insight Out.
Insights about the 1960s
“When people look back at the ’60s they think, ‘Oh, it was just this wonderful time.’ I don’t think it was. There was more sexism, racism, and I think it was just a horrid, unsettled time. It was a time of wretched excess, and people think it was a time of spiritual awakening. Perhaps it was, who knows? Although I liked being a young adult in those times, I think I would have preferred being a young adult in the ’50s or the ’40s. Or maybe the ’30s would have been cool.”
— Gary “Jules”Alexander
guitarist, bass player and singer
“My aunt was an Arthur Murray [dancing] instructor. I was into rock and roll dancing in junior high, particularly contests at dances. As soon as I was about 14 or 15, I stopped going to dances, and folk music took over in my life. [But] I always liked the really stylistic singers, like Nat ‘King’ Cole and people that really had their own style. I could never pass myself off as a Nat ‘King’ Cole. But he certainly did some wonderful, wonderful recordings, besides being a great piano player. I really liked Nat a lot.”
guitarist, trombone player and singer
“I think the most important commodity that any of us have to exchange with each other is validation. Validate who you and others are. It may be that the spirit of my Methodist theologian circuit-riding grandfather lives in me and in that context I would consider myself an evangelist. I really want to carry that message, without getting into any fundamentalist thought, that there’s another way to live. That you can be the person you are and live alongside everybody else and not be in conflict with how hard it is just to be living.”
Multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer
“Jules came home one night [in 1965] after playing on a demo session for a friend named Tandyn Almer, who was a jazz pianist — kind of a beatnik, last of the Kerouac guys. He had written a song. Jules brought it home and said, ‘Wow, you gotta hear this song. It’s really great.’ It was ‘Along Comes Mary.’”
singer and guitarist
“There were seven of us voting on the 20 or 30 demo songs we were listening to. When we first listened to “Windy’ [in early 1967] and voted on it, four guys voted against it and three voted for it. But [our manager] Pat Colecchio knew it was a hit and he was counting the votes, so he took somebody’s ‘no’ vote and made it a ‘yes.’”
singer, drummer and guitarist
“The New Christy Minstrels recorded Terry Kirkman’s song ‘Cherish’ for Columbia Records before the Association recorded it. But when the Minstrels asked Kirkman for a license to release it, he refused because he and the Association had agreed to release it. I’m still working today because of ‘Cherish.’ One way or the other, I was going to be singing ‘Cherish.’ It was destined, whether with the Association or the Minstrels, because [by the time I joined the Association] I had been singing ‘Cherish’ with the Minstrels for months.”
singer, guitarist and banjo player
The narrative and quotations in this article are excerpted from the book Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? — Volume 1, by Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March.
( order your copy here: EditPros LLC - Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 1 )
This material is copyrighted © 2011 by EditPros LLC and may not be reproduced or redistributed without written permission.
Jules Alexander: Photo Courtesy of Jules Alexander
Ted Bluechel, Jr.: Photo by Tracy Coles
Russ Giguiere: Photo by Henry Diltz, courtesy of Russ Giguere
Terry Kirkman: Photo by Paloma Sendrey
Larry Ramos: Photo by Ken Ige, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Jim Yester: Photo by Alex Anton, Studio 53
THE ASSOCIATION HIT LIST
1966 - Along Comes Mary (#7)
1966 - Cherish (#1)
1966 - Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies (#19)
1967 - No Fair At All (#51)
1967 - Windy (#1)
1967 - Never My Love (#1)
HONORABLE MENTION: Requiem For The Masses (B-Side to Never My Love) #100
1968 - Everything That Touches You (#9)
1968 - Time For Livin' (#23)
1968 - Six Man Band (#26)
1969 - Goodbye Columbus (#78)
1973 - Names, Tags, Numbers and Labels (#85)
1981 - Dreamer (#66)