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Terry Kirkman, the Association Singer and Founding Member, Dies at 83

Written by on September 25, 2023

Singer-songwriter Terry Kirkman, a founding member of the 1960s folk-rock band the Association, has died. He was 83.

Kirkman’s death was confirmed on Sunday through a statement on the Association’s official Facebook page: “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.”

Kirkman was born on Dec. 12, 1939, in Salina, Kan. In 1965, he formed the Association in L.A. alongside Jules Gary Alexander, Russ Giguere, Ted Bluechel Jr., Brian Cole and Bob Page, who was quickly replaced by Jim Yester. The group consisted of a large ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists known for their intricate vocal harmonies.

The Association released their debut album “And Then… Along Comes the Association” in 1966, featuring such hits as “Cherish” and “Along Comes Mary.” Other albums include “Renaissance,” “Insight Out,” “Birthday” and “Stop Your Motor.”

Kirkman wrote a number of songs for the Association, including “Cherish,” Everything That Touches You,” “Requiem for the Masses” and “Six Man Band.” The band was nominated for six Grammy Awards, including three for “Cherish”: contemporary rock and roll group performance, performance by a vocal group and contemporary rock and roll recording.

Kirkman originally departed the Association in 1972. He returned when the band reformed in 1979 and left again in 1984.

In 2003, Kirkman was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame alongside other members of the Association.

Kirkman is survived by his wife Heidi, daughter Sasha, son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Story by Peter Helman


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