Tandyn Almer

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Tandyn Almer
Born (1942-07-30)July 30, 1942
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Died January 8, 2013(2013-01-08) (aged 70)
McLean, Virginia
Genres pop music
Labels Warner Bros.; A&M Records; Sundazed
Associated acts The Association, The Beach Boys, The Garden Club, The Purple Gang, Dennis Olivieri

Tandyn Douglas Almer (July 30, 1942 – January 8, 2013) was an American musician, composer, lyricist, and record producer. Almer wrote, co-wrote, or produced numerous songs performed by other artists in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Purple Gang, the Garden Club, Dennis Olivieri, and The Beach Boys.

Early life[edit]

Almer was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Almer attended a music conservatory in Minnesota, and became fascinated with the jazz of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Ahmad Jamal. At age 17, he quit high school and moved to Chicago to become a jazz pianist. In the early 1960s he relocated to Los Angeles, where his musical interests shifted to pop and rock. He attended Los Angeles City College.

Career[edit]

His most prominent achievement was writing the 1966 Top Ten hit "Along Comes Mary" for The Association.[1] Claudia Ford, wife of Association producer Curt Boettcher, claimed that Almer wrote "Along Comes Mary" as a slow song. Boettcher helped Almer arrange the tune, sang the vocal on the demo,[2] and accelerated the tempo. That version, as provided to the Association, became the group's breakthrough single from their debut album, which Boettcher produced. The two also co-wrote "Message of Our Love," another song on the same album. After the success of "Along Comes Mary", Almer was featured alongside Frank Zappa, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn, and Brian Wilson on Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution, a 1967 CBS TV News feature presented by Leonard Bernstein. Almer's sole commercial release under his own name was a 45 rpm single, "Degeneration Gap", on Warner Bros. in 1969.

In 1970 he produced the Dennis Olivieri album Come to the Party.[3] While a songwriter for A&M Records in the 1970s, he was introduced to and became friends with Brian Wilson. The two collaborated in the early 1970s on several projects, including an aborted album of re-recorded Beach Boys songs with topical lyrics for A&M.[citation needed] He co-wrote the Beach Boys singles "Marcella" and "Sail On, Sailor".

Almer invented a waterpipe called the Slave-Master, described by Jack S. Margolis and Richard Clorfene in A Child's Garden of Grass as "the perfect bong".[4]

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Almer wrote songs for Washington, D.C.'s annual Hexagon satirical revue. He also wrote several "fake books," consisting of simplified arrangements of popular songs. A member of Mensa International, he moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 1977, and lived there for the remainder of his life.

Death[edit]

Almer died on January 18, 2013 aged 70 from a combination of illnesses, including atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[5] Shortly after, Along Comes Tandyn, an album of vintage recordings of his songs, was released in 2013 on Sundazed Records.[6] In the liner notes, Parke Puterbaugh, a former senior editor of Rolling Stone, called Almer “one of the lost and hidden voices of the '60s," adding that Almer "left behind a body of work that's ripe for rediscovery.”[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]