Five Minutes, Five Questions: Jim Yester, The Association

Five Minutes, Five Questions: Jim Yester, The Association

You might not know the name of the band, but if you were around in the 1960s — or ’70s, or ’80s — you’ll remember the songs: “Windy,” “Cherish,” “Never My Love,” “Along Comes Mary.”

The Association hit the charts in 1966 with the release of its first album, “And Then… Along Comes The Association,” which included “Cherish,” its first No. 1 hit. It was a genre called “sunshine pop,” and it served them so well that an incarnation of the band is on tour right now.

Jim Yester, one of the original members, answered these questions for The Free Weekly in advance of The Association’s March 30 visit to the Alma Performing Arts Center.

Q. When did you join The Association?

A. The group had been together for two weeks, and one guy wasn’t working out. Two of the guys saw me auditioning at The Icehouse in Pasadena and left a note for me to call them, which I did the next day. I went to where four of them lived in a house provided by the manager. I sang for them, they sang for me, and then we worked on a few songs together for a couple of hours. Jules [Alexander] pulled me aside and said to come back in three days and the other guy would be gone, and I could move in. It would be six months before we performed as The Association. Six days a week, eight hours a day, we worked on arranging, choreography, writing songs, etc., so by the time we started performing, we were pretty together.

Q. How is the band different in music, philosophy, showmanship in this incarnation?

A. The whole feeling of the band at this point is almost exactly the same feeling as it was when we started out in the ’60s. After Russ Giguere retired and Larry Ramos passed away, we went through all the vocals and straightened out the show. We are having so much fun with everything right now — no drama, just pure performance enjoyment!

Q. Who is your audience?

A. The demographics of our audience is a pretty wide mixture of fans of the original group, their children, and a lot of the children of those fans bring their children, so it’s really a nice mix of people. We are getting wonderful responses to our shows.

Q. What has given your music so much staying power?

A. Probably a mixture of good songs, attention to details of the show, and the fact that there are radio stations that still play our music. It helps people remember who we are and what we do.

Q. What makes it worth getting on the road and traveling and performing?

A. Because that’s what we do! The joy of performing together and the reaction we get from our audiences makes all the tedium of traveling and all the non-musical details of what we do totally worth it. And a great part of the enjoyment is the meet-and-greets we do, and signing autographs after the show, meeting the people and trading stories — always great fun.



In Concert:

The Association

WHEN — 8 p.m. March 30

WHERE — Alma Performing Arts Center

COST — $22-$38

INFO — 632-2129,

Categories: Music