Founding Member of the Association Terry Kirkman Passes Away at 83
via Health with Shees / YouTube
Terry Kirkman, a founding member of the legendary band The Association and the creative force behind Sixties classics like “Cherish” and “Everything That Touches You,” has passed away at the age of 83.
Terry’s wife, Heidi Berinstein Kirkman, confirmed that he peacefully passed away in his Montclair, California home due to congestive heart failure after battling a long illness.
Born in Salina, Kansas, Terry Kirkman’s musical journey led him to California, where he studied music at Chaffey College. His professional music career took off when he had a chance encounter with guitarist Jules Alexander in Hawaii in 1962. By 1963, while both were in Los Angeles, they began assembling what would eventually become The Association, initially forming as Inner Tubes (which included Cass Elliott and David Crosby) before evolving into a 13-member group known as the Men.
Following the disbandment of the Men in 1965, Kirkman and five other members formed their own group, The Association, characterized by their harmonious melodies and expert arrangements. Terry, a gifted singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, wrote some of the band’s most iconic songs, including their chart-topping hit “Cherish” and “Everything That Touches You.” He also lent his vocals to other memorable tracks like “Never My Love” and “Along Comes Mary,” the latter written by Tandyn Almer. This song appeared on their debut album alongside “Cherish” in 1966.
While the original lineup parted ways in the early 1970s, with Kirkman leaving in 1972, they achieved significant acclaim.
They received six Grammy Award nominations, including recognition in categories like Contemporary Rock ‘n’ Roll Group Performance, Performance by a Vocal Group, and Contemporary Rock ‘n’ Roll Recording for their classic “Cherish.” Terry briefly rejoined The Association when they reunited in 1979 but departed once again in 1984. In 2003, the band was rightfully inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Beyond his impactful contributions to The Association, Terry Kirkman served as a clinical director of the Musicians Assistance Program, now known as MusiCares, where he continued to support fellow musicians in need. His legacy will forever resonate in the world of music.