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Terry Kirkman, a founding member of the Association who penned the band’s Sixties classics “Cherish” and “Everything That Touches You,” died on Saturday. He was 83.
Kirkman’s wife, Heidi Berinstein Kirkman, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that he died in his home in Montclair, California of congestive heart failure following a long illness.
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Kirkman was born in Salina, Kansas and later studied music in California at Chaffey College. His foray into the professional music world began when he had a chance meeting with guitarist Jules Alexander in Hawaii in 1962. A year later, while they were both in Los Angeles, they began to assemble what would eventually become the Association following forming Inner Tubes (which included Cass Elliott and David Crosby), which later grew to become a 13-piece group called the Men.
After the Men disbanded in 1965, Kirkman and five of the members formed their own group, with strong harmonies and arrangements at the fore. Naming themselves the Association, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kirkman penned several of the band’s most memorable songs, including their biggest hit “Cherish,” and “Everything That Touches You.” He also contributed his vocals to their other hits, including “Never My Love” and their first hit written by Tandyn Almer, “Along Comes Mary,” which appeared on their debut album alongside “Cherish,” from 1966’s And Then… Along Comes the Association.
The original lineup disbanded in the early Seventies, with Kirkman leaving in 1972. Prior to his departure, the group was nominated for six Grammy awards, including three — Contemporary Rock ‘n’ Roll Group Performance, Performance by a Vocal Group, and Contemporary Rock ‘n’ Roll Recording — for “Cherish.” Kirkman returned to the band when they reunited in 1979, and left again in 1984. In 2003, the Association was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Beyond his work in the Association, Kirkman served as a clinical director of the Musicians Assistance Program, which is now known a MusiCares.
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