published Friday, June 1st, 2012

The Association headlines Chattanooga Firefighters Association benefit

IF YOU GO

• What: The Association and Regie Hamm.

• When: 8 p.m. today.

• Where: Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.

• Admission: $26 (all general admission).

• Phone: 899-4990.

Things may look a bit familiar for at least one member of The Association, the pop band that will headline the Chattanooga Firefighters Association benefit tonight at Memorial Auditorium.

Jules Alexander, an original member of the group that spun out the well-known 1960s hits "Never My Love," "Cherish" and "Windy," was born in Chattanooga.

The band, which formed in the mid-1960s, also includes longtime members Russ Giguere, Larry Ramos and Jim Yester.

Regie Hamm, a singer/songwriter who has penned more than 20 No. 1 contemporary Christian and secular hits, such as the 2008 "American Idol" finale song "Time of My Life" for winner David Cook, will open for The Association.

"We try to mix it up," said Josh Thurman, office manager for the Chattanooga Firefighters Association. "We do an oldies show in the summer and a country music show in the winter."

The next show will feature country music artist John Michael Montgomery.

Thurman said proceeds from the concert will go to purchase smoke detectors for the less fortunate in Hamilton and Bradley counties in Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in Georgia, as well as for burn relief.

The Association formed following the 1965 breakup of the folk rock group The Men, from which it drew several of its original members. The band's first hit, "Along Comes Mary," hit No. 7 in the Billboard charts in 1966.

Alexander first heard the song, written by Tandyn Almer, when he was hired to play on a demo version of it and persuaded the songwriter to give The Association first crack at it.

"Cherish" became the group's first No. 1 hit in September 1966.

Alexander left the California-based soft-rock band in 1967 to study meditation in India and returned in 1969. He later left the group in 1974 and returned again in 1979.

To date, The Association has sold more than 80 million records, tapes, CDs and DVDs. The band has earned six gold records and two platinum records. "The Association Greatest Hits" is one of the best-selling albums in the history of Warner Brothers.

Thurman said extra tickets are available for the concert for "underprivileged families."

"We've done pretty good," he said. "We've been doing this for 16 years."

Contact Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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