The Association is an American sunshine pop band from California….who during the late 1960’s had numerous hits at or near the top of the Billboard charts….(including “Windy”, “Cherish”, “Never My Love” and “Along Comes Mary”….and were the lead-off band at 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival.
The Association was noted for their intricate vocal harmonies by the band’s multiple singers.
Their national break would come with the song “Along Comes Mary”, written by Tandyn Almer….as performed in this video herewith….as band member Alexander first heard the song when he was hired to play on a demo version and persuaded Almer to give the Association first dibs on it…..and the song proved controversial due to the fact that “Mary” was street slang for marijuana….but it went to # 7 on the Billboard charts….and led to the group’s first album, And Then… Along Comes the Association (July 1966), produced by Curt Boettcher and begun in Gary S. Paxton’s garage….with vocals done separately at Columbia. Another song from the album, “Cherish”, would become the Association’s first # 1 hit in September 1966….while becoming one of a handful of the Sixties’s most popular “slow dance” ballads.
In late 1966, Warner Bros. Records, which had been distributing Valiant, bought the smaller label and with it, the Association’s contract.
In April 1967, Alexander left the band to study meditation in India….and he was replaced by Larry Ramos on vocals and guitar….as Ramos joined the band while Alexander was still performing with them after bassist Cole’s hand was injured when Alexander subbed on bass while Ramos played lead guitar. Ramos had previously performed with the New Christy Minstrels and had even recorded solo singles for Columbia Records. He went on to sing co-lead….along with Giguere and Kirkman….on two of the Association’s biggest hit singles, “Windy” and “Never My Love”.
On June 16, 1967 the Association was the first act to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival.