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Terry Kirkman, founding member of Association who wrote ‘Cherish,’ dead at 83

Terry Kirkman, a founding member of the 1960s group the Association who wrote “Cherish” and “Everything That Touches You,” died on Saturday. He was 83.

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Kirkman died at his home in Montclair, California, his wife, Heidi Berinstein Kirkman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. The cause of death was congestive heart failure after a long illness, according to the newspaper.

Born in Salina, Kansas, on Dec. 12, 1939, Kirkman studied music in California at Chaffey College, according to Rolling Stone.

He met guitarist Jules Alexander in 1962 and a year later in Los Angeles, the pair formed the group Inner Tubes, the magazine reported. That ensemble grew to a 13-piece group called the Men.

In 1965, Kirkman formed the Association in Los Angeles with Alexander, Russ Giguere, Ted Bluechel Jr., Brian Cole and Bob Page, Variety reported. Page was replaced by Jim Yester, and the group consisted of vocalists and instrumentalists who contributed to the group’s harmonies, according to the entertainment news website.

The group was nominated for six Grammy Awards. Three nominations were for the 1966 hit “Cherish” -- contemporary rock ‘n’ roll group performance, performance by a vocal group and contemporary rock ‘n’ roll recording. The song went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in September 1966 and was the group’s first chart-topper.

Kirkman left the group in 1972, the Times reported. He returned when the band reunited in 1979 before leaving again five years later.

In 2003, Kirkman and other members of the Association were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Kirkman later served as a clinical director of the Musicians Assistance Program, which is now known as MusiCares, according to Rolling Stone.

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