Sad news for fans of 1960s folk-rock music: Terry Kirkman, a founding member of the band the Association, has passed away at the age of 83. The news was confirmed on the Association’s official Facebook page, with the message stating, “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 on December 12, 1939, in Salina, Kansas, Kirkman formed the Association in Los Angeles in 1965. The original lineup consisted of Jules Gary Alexander, Russ Giguere, Ted Bluechel Jr., Brian Cole, and Bob Page (who was later replaced by Jim Yester). Known for their intricate vocal harmonies, the group featured a large ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists.
The Association released their debut album, “And Then… Along Comes the Association,” in 1966. The album showcased hits like “Cherish” and “Along Comes Mary.” They went on to release several more albums, including “Renaissance,” “Insight Out,” “Birthday,” and “Stop Your Motor.”
Kirkman played a significant role in the success of the Association, having written several songs for the band. Some of his notable compositions include “Cherish,” “Everything That Touches You,” “Requiem for the Masses,” and “Six Man Band.” The band received recognition for their work, earning six Grammy Award nominations. Three of those nominations were for their hit song “Cherish” in the categories of contemporary rock and roll group performance, performance by a vocal group, and contemporary rock and roll recording.
After originally parting ways with the Association in 1972, Kirkman rejoined the band when they reformed in 1979. However, he left again in 1984. In 2003, Kirkman was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame alongside other members of the Association, honoring their contribution to music.
Kirkman is survived by his wife Heidi, daughter Sasha, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. His legacy will undoubtedly live on through his music, which brought joy to countless fans over the years.
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