The Association: Wayne State University, Detroit

The Association Concert — A Display of Fine Talent

IT TOOK most of the concert but the Association captured the hearts and heads of the University of Detroit audience Friday evening.

The highly successful singing group opened their show with, appropriately, their first hit, ‘Along Comes Mary’. It was acceptable, but not great.

And that’s the way the first half went.

Even with the help of the million seller ‘Cherish’ and an old but very good tune called ‘Remember’, the singers just couldn’t grab hold of the audience. The crowd was polite and listened to the group and seemed to enjoy themselves to a degree.

But it wasn’t until half way through the second set that the Association put across their feeling. They did it with the masterpiece ‘Requiem For The Masses’. The tune, though never released as a single, gained international acceptance because of its greatness.

They topped the evening with their next single release ‘Under Branches’, performed a cappella because “we haven’t had time to learn the instrumental part.” It was fantastic. From that point on you could feel everything click, and so could the group. They started to have fun.

ILLNESS PLAGUED the Association as two of the members had sore and swollen throats. That, coupled with the fact this is their first tour with Jules Alexander, an original Association who left for two years, may be the reason they weren’t together until near the end.

They showed their versatility by frequently trading instruments, especially Terry Kirkman who made good use of various instruments including bass trumpet, pocket trumpet (an apt description), the flugal horn and a flute.

In the end the Association accomplished what they came here for, which was to present their abilities and talents and have them praised and accepted. They hung on to their reputation as one of the best singing and instrumental groups around.

© Mike GormleyDetroit Free Press, 24 March 1969

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