2016 America's Pop Music Hall of Fame Inductee, THE ASSOCIATION is one of the most popular and successful bands to have come out of the sixties. They have sold over EIGHTYMILLION records, tapes, CDs and DVDs, earning six gold and three platinum discs along with seven Grammy Award Nominations. Their album, THE ASSOCIATION GREATEST HITS(Warner Brothers), continues to be one of the longest best-selling albums in the history of the company. In 2011, THE ASSOCIATION was listed on the LA Times Magazine 50 Best LA Bands, along side bands like The Beach Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also in 2011, their hit song WINDY was featured in its entirety on the smash hit television and Netflix show “Breaking Bad”earning the song, and the band, a whole new generation of fans. THE ASSOCIATION was also given the 2013 Shindig! Award for Best Reissue for their album THE ASSOCIATION.
Their number one hits, NEVER MY LOVE, WINDY and CHERISH, have achieved ‘standard’ status receiving almost as much airplay today as they ever have.
At the turn of the millennium, BMI’s released a list of the Top 100 Most Played Songs of All Time, which placed the Association’s hits at #2 NEVER MY LOVE, #22 CHERISH, and #61 WINDY. NEVER MY LOVE has more than 7 million airplays. One million continuous performances of a song is equivalent to 5.7 years of continuous airplay, giving NEVER MY LOVE more than 40 years of back-to-back play.
In addition to the “Big Three” — CHERISH, WINDY, and NEVER MY LOVE — THE ASSOCIATION had many other top ten hits, such as ALONG COMES MARY, EVERYTHING THAT TOUCHES YOU, SIX MAN BAND, TIME FOR LIVIN’ andREQUIEM FOR THE MASSES. These songs showcase the versatility, the carefully crafted vocals and the intricately woven instrumentation that is the signature of THE ASSOCIATION, which stands as a cornerstone of American pop music today. Between the 1966 and 1967 Grammy Awards, they were nominated a total of seven times. In 1967 they were also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Music for their music in the film “Goodbye Columbus” and won the Foreign Press Award, also for “Goodbye Columbus”.
THE ASSOCIATION was formed in 1965 after the breakup of an eleven-man electric folk group called THE MEN, which is considered the first “folk rock” group. The six-man ASSOCIATION rehearsed for five months and then began performing across Southern California at nightclubs (The Troubadour, The Ice House, etc.), coffeehouses, folk clubs, high schools, Jr. colleges, colleges, proms and parties.
The intense rehearsals and hard work paid off. Before the release of their first album, the group already had a huge fan base in Los Angeles. That fan base soon became millions as two hits from their first album, ALONG COMES MARY and CHERISH, topped the charts.
THE ASSOCIATION was the first electric group to break through the anti-rock biases in many of the major venues across the country and was the first rock ‘n’ roll band 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, the Chicago Opera House and Ravinia Park. In 1967 THE ASSOCIATION was given the honor of opening at the First International Pop Festival in america, The Monterey Pop Festival, on the bill with Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the Mamas & The Papas. Shortly after The Association took part in the ROME 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”, “Hullabaloo”, “The Carson Show”, “the Cavett Show”, “The Joey Bishop Show”(with Regis Philbin),“The Andy WilliamsShow”, “The Carol Channing Special”, “Hollywood Palace”, “The Dean Martin Show” . . . the list goes on and on.
Being on the road for so many years, with over two thousand concerts and television performances, began to take its toll and the group parted 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 and fan encouragement, decided to reunite and get back on the road.
“On the road” is right. Since their reunion, THE ASSOCIATION has performed all over the world. They have sung and played in every state in the United States, including major showrooms in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Reno, Tahoe and many times at the Hollywood Bowl. They have also played most of the Canadian provinces, Bermuda, Athens, South America, and The Philippines. They have also been on many major tours, including The Happy Together Tour in 1984, 2011, and coming in 2015, the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Concert Tour in 1989, The Dodge presents Legends For Liberty Tour, and Where The Action Is Tour in 2013. They have played with symphony orchestras, at music festivals, colleges, fairs, and at every large theme park on the continent. They have also performed at supper clubs, hotels, conventions and television shows. In 2004, THE ASSOCIATION appeared on two PBS Specials. In 2003, they were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Warner Bros./Rhino Records has released a double CD Just the Right Sound THE ASSOCIATION Anthology with 50 tunes, a 40 page biographical booklet, and lots of pictures.
The group has gone through a few changes throughout the years. In 1967, Jules (Gary) Alexander left the group and was replaced by Larry Ramos, a New Christy Minstrel member. In 1969, Jules returned to the group making it a seven-member band. Originals Terry Kirkman and Ted Bluechel left the group in 1984. Jules (Gary) Alexander in 1989 and he later returned in 2012. Russ Giguere retired from the group in December 2013. Two members have died, Brian Cole in 1971 and Larry Ramos early in 2014.
The current group is made up of original band members Jim Yester and Jules Alexander, along with longtime member since the 70’s Del Ramos, brother of Larry Ramos, Jordan Cole, son of original member Brian Cole, along with Bruce Pictor and Paul Holland who have played with the group since the 80's.
The bottom line is simple: they’re looking great and sounding better than ever!