I heard one of The Association's songs on the radio and realized I had no idea what they looked like, so I looked them up on YouTube and some of them were pretty cute. What do we know about them? Any stories?
Here they are performing "Never My Love" on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967.
The bass player, Brian Cole, died of a heroin overdose in 1972. He was 29.
But what happened to the bass player? No one talks about him anymore, and I keep wondering what became of him.
No it was Brian Cole. He was a bass player. He died of heroin.
Outside of buying us school clothes every year, Mom wasn't big on extravagances. But one year, when I was about 9, she got tickets and took me and my sister to see The Association at the Westbury Music Fair. It was a major treat and she liked it too. I always liked harmony groups, and there were a lot of them back then. Along Comes Mary was my favorite.
I heard someone say the bass player died from an overdose of Heroin, is that true?
I heard that their hit song "Along Comes Mary" was a drug song that their bass player died of it.
I heard that bass player died from dropping pots and shooting up LBJ!
[quote] Along Comes Mary was my favorite.
...and prophetic. LOL.
So I'm guessing they were/are all hopelessly straight?
Standing Still: A Look Back at Ted Bluechel, Jr.
If you google that on Youtube, a nice collage of photos come up about the hairy drummer.
The hairy drummer, Ted Bluechel, died in 2009 I googled. But I don't know how he died. Anyone know?
Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone?, Volume 1
By Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March
If you google that, you will get a book about the dead bass player and the handsome bearded guy. The handsome bearded guy now looks like Ed McMann (ugh) has a wife and autistic son that looks demonic.
And then along comes a fairy....
Every one knows she's gassy
Embarrassed is the word I used to remind me...
Their handful of memorable hits is the kind of music that is best heard incidentally in a grocery story. They're catchy but too plastic to hold up to any kind of close scrutiny.
I don't have an account so I'll ask here...
Was Uncle Joe a pervert?
And how come all three daughters and Uncle Joe and Kate each had their own bedrooms? That is five bedrooms they could've sold to guests?
And what about Aunt Bee? Why didn't she get a job?
And how were Andy and Opie related to Sam and Mike and Jodie Foster?
And what about Mrs Beasley? Huh? Where was Mr Beasley?
R29, the bass player died of a heroin overdose.
Liked their albums and the soundtrack for GOODBYE, COLUMBUS. "It's Got to be Real" was a great song for the Ali MacGraw/Richard Benjamin montage in that movie.
If I'm not mistaken, Larry Ramos, the Hawaiian guy who joined the group later on, died of a heart attack a couple of years ago.
I'm too lazy to google confirmation of that, though.
People like r28 should die painfully in grease fires.
I think one of them died. Overdose or something like that.
I heard heroin was a problem.
I heard the bass player player is a total pussy hound living in flyover country. Or maybe he's dead.
I had a dear friend who knew the bass player in this group. And then she died. And then he died.
I'm more interested in the ice-skating tambourine player. And of course, Mark Hamill on guitar.
[quote]... is the kind of music that is best heard incidentally in a grocery story.
Like when the wicked queen casts a spell to turn the heroine into produce?
Apparently, based on this thread, their musical contributions are far less significant than how, when and where each band member died.
I'm sure that's true for them personally, R40.
Hairy chested hottie Ted Bluechel is apparently still alive. The 2009 death was an internet rumor (much like the recent Beverly Archer death rumor right here on DL). He's 70 and living in Camarillo.
Anyway I grew up hearing these songs as a kid in the 70s. We named the dog we got in 1973 "Wendy" after their song "Windy".
If Wikipedia is correct -- it can be possible -- than the bass player who died in 1972 is the only one who HAS died. Wikipedia's page for The Association list all the others as still alive.
It seems a man who died and had his obituary in the NY Times fooled his wife and others into thinking he was Ted Bleuchel from the Association. His name was Richard Blue.
This is his obit:
Richard Blue | Visit Guest Book
BLUE--Richard, September 18, 1946 - May 16, 2009. Beloved husband to Amanda and wonderful father to Kathleen, Rich was a remarkable human being, loved by all. A great contributor to the music world, Rich had early success as a member of the Association (as Ted Bluechel Jr.) and progressed to write many great songs. In later years he entered the world of finance and joined the Corporate Bank at Chase Manhattan, where he met Amanda. After their marriage in 1981, they moved to Burlingame and established their home. In the mid 1990s, Rich retired from the business world and devoted himself to raising his daughter, Katie, a role which he considered the greatest achievement of his life. In 1998, Rich and his family moved to London, England, where they spent ten interesting years before returning home to Burlingame in 2008. He will be greatly missed by his wide circle of friends and family.
Here's an article in the Washington Post about the obit.
Why do we need news obituaries? The trouble with paid Death Notices is that families can claim pretty much anything, and who will be the wiser? Advertising staffs, like most of us in the news biz, are overwhelmed with requests for obits.
Generally families are taken at their word when they list such innocuous things as memberships in a house of worship or a local country club, or even military service. Unless, of course, the claims seem grandiose or deserve special research. We typically ask for proof of high military honors, for example. And it's easy to fact check membership in, say, a leading pop band.
But not always, as alt.obituaries newsgroup poster Amelia Rosner writes:
"In the paid obituaries of the New York Times this week was the news that a member of the rock band The Association had died. As a woman of a certain age, one who can't hear "Cherish" without feeling every sensation of unrequited crush, I felt this was big news. There was an odd aspect to the obit, however. He had changed his name (significantly) after his decades-long year tenure with The Association. Ted Bluechel, Jr had become Richard Blue.
Nevertheless, I posted it on the newsgroup alt.obituaries. Much discussion ensued, and I immediately got an email from the head of The Association Fanclub. Why was I spreading this rumor? She had spent the day putting out fires! She just spoke to the "real" Ted Bluecher, Jr. and they were laughing about it. I did point out that the obit said he was in the group, and she should get to the bottom of it. So, what's the truth? Is this the boomer generation's version of WW2 war lies? What did you do in the '60s, Daddy? "
Comment: I don't think deceit is becoming more common. Instead, I suspect that newspapers and readers are getting better at spotting lies. The Internet hasn't just made it easier to research false claims; it's widened the audience for obituaries to outside the deceased's hometown.
An example from 2006: the New Orleans Times-Picayune ran an obituary on nola.com for a man named Jerry Butler, in which the deceased was described as a former Canadian Football League player. A check in the alumni book and a quick call to CFL headquarters confirmed that he'd never played in the league. That claim wouldn't have been challenged had the obituary not been published online.
But I don't think the problem was any less prevalent thirty years ago. An old boss of mine once pointed out that if every person who claimed just to have missed the Titanic had actually caught the ship, it would have sunk like a stone in Southampton Harbour.
There was a man who claimed for years that he wrote "Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikin" under the pen name Paul Vance. When his obituary from a local paper was printed online, the real Paul Vance was contacted and surprised to hear of his own death.
BTW-- Paul Vance said he made millions off of that one song. He also wrote "Catch a Falling Star" for Perry Como, the spoofy "Leader of the Laundromat," and the horrific "Playground in My Mind," which is familiar to anyone who was alive at the time as the "My name is Michael, I got a nickel," song.
The guy with the chest hair looks like he's wearing a fur coat, NOT attractive at all.
[quote]They were such a hot group to listen to in the late 60s!
If you were a middle aged nun.
Our top story tonight: The Association's bass player is still dead.
Didn't Richard Blue's wife think it odd that a man named Richard Blue would take the stage name Ted Bluetchel, Jr?
So, to sort all this out, are we saying that the imposter Richard Blue died of a heroin overdose too?
His obit doesn't mention this… oh, I am so confused!
"...and the horrific "Playground in My Mind," which is familiar to anyone who was alive at the time as the "My name is Michael, I got a nickel," song."
I feel slightly nauseated. I am nauseous. I could have forgotten that godawful thing forever for the rest of my life, but now, I remember it. I'm going to try and forget it again.
R53, the song is "Playground in Mind" and sung by Clint Holmes. It is on Youtube. If someone could give me directions as to how to post a youtube link here, I'd gladly do it. When I try to cut and paste the entire location, DL says it won't take the post. I'm marginally retarded, so help me out.
Paste the address in the box marked "URL:"
I tried cutting and pasting the location of the youtube video, found in the top line of the page, but DL won't let me paste it into the box and post here. Where is the URL you speak of?
Click the "Post a reply" link.
See the box that's labelled "Message"? Don't paste your URL there, you type things there. However, see the next box just underneath the Message box? Duh.
Such a nice clean cut band. Glad to know none of them ever did drugs like heroin or anything. They could have died from an overdose.
I don't know about that, R28. Cherish and Never My Love are absolute classics AFAIC, perhaps best heard on an AM radio driving in the country on your way to a dairy farm to get fresh donuts...
I heard the drummer died of a heroin overdose. Sad.
I belonged to the Association fan club. Also the Banana Splits fan club. I am very old.
If you were married to someone who claimed to have been a minor celebrity in a former life, wouldn't you expect to see some memorabilia, have contact with other people connected to that life, and, I don't know, maybe get some royalties!
There was some willing suspension of disbelief there.
I had an uncle who claimed descent from a famous politician who had the same surname. His kids always told everyone that so and so was their great great grandfather, even though my mother claimed that was ridiculous. My brother got into genealogy once and totally debunked that myth but that side of the family was so invested in the story they continued living the lie.
Does anyone know how the bass player died? Can't seem to find that info anywhere.
[quote] [R53], the song is "Playground in Mind" and sung by Clint Holm
It's "Playground in MY Mind" as was first stated in R47.
I read on the internet some place that the bass player died a heroine.
I didn't realize the Association had a female band member. Much less that she'd done something noble and upstanding to be labeled a heroine. Anybody know what her heroic act is/was?
If anyone on the pop charts today came up with a song that's 1/10th as sharp and catchy as "Along Comes Mary," they'd be playing at the Super Bowl next year.
I've always had a thing for hairy chests, so I had the hots for Ted when I was in high school (which was when they were at the height of their popularity.)
They had a nice string of Top 40 hits in the late '60s. I remember going to a New Year's Eve party when I was in high school and the local Top 40 station was counting down the top 100 hits of the year. Either "Cherish" or "Never My Love" was number one or close to it. I still have the 45 (ask your grandparents) of "Never My Love."
r71, in 1966, The Association had the #2 most popular song of the year, "Cherish." The following year, "Windy" ranked #4 and "Never My Love" ranked #20 on the year-end list.
"Cherish" and "Windy" both hit #1 -- "Cherish" for 3 weeks, "Windy" for 4 weeks -- while "Never My Love" stopped at #2 for 2 weeks -- it was kept out of the top spot by "The Letter" by The Box-Tops.
Interestingly, in 1999, BMI published a list of the 100 most played songs of the 20th Century and "Never My Love" was the second most played song of the century (with reportedly more than 8 million spins); "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by The Righteous Brothers was #1. But The Association's other chart-toppers also made the BMI century list -- "Cherish" ranked #22 and "Windy" ranked #61.
And Wendy has starry eyes.
And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies....
"Never My Love" is cheesy, yes, but ultimately just lovely. The harmonies are on point.
The lyrics aren't really anything speciall but this is truly some of the most beautiful music ever written - I would include "Walk Away Renee", too.
I liked "Everything That Touches You" - the harmonies are great.
WEHT Paul, of "Paul Revere & The Raiders" ? Used to be such a turn on as a young gay, to watch him with those big brown eyes - he was a handsome guy.
I didn't realize they were trimming and waxing in the early '70s.
Because the first photo of Ted definitely shows some skillful work.
Leonard Bernstein discussed "Along Comes Mary" on one of his "Young People's Concerts".
Also The Association were the one's asked to perform Jim Webb's "McArthurt Park", but they declined.
Rolling Stone magazine of course hated them, because they weren't gritty or bluesy enough.
I think this song from their 1968 "Birthday" album is pretty amazing too:
OP, you like that sissy little rhythm guitar player, don't you?
Interesting aside, one of the group members died of a heroin overdose in 1972 at the age of 29.
r83 Thanks for the info about one of the members dying of a heroin overdose.
I can't believe it took 83 replies for anyone to mention that fact!
Geez, DL sure is slipping.
Reposting the link to "Along Comes Mary" from the Monterey Pop Festival, as the original was taken off youtube. What a great performance! And they are so cute and nerdy.