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Tandyn Almer: 6 Facts About ‘Along Comes Mary’ and Its Composer
Posted By Patrick Kiger On February 19, 2013 @ 12:39 am In Legacy | Comments Disabled
Back in 1966, a folk-rock group called The Association had a huge hit with a song called “Along Comes Mary,” which provoked a lot of knowing snickers among adolescents who assumed it was a thinly coded reference to, well, smoking weed.
And that may well have been true. But in truth, probably nobody – not even the members of the band – knew exactly what these lyrics were really about:
And when the morning of the warning’s passed, the gassed
And flaccid kids are flung across the stars
The psychodramas and the traumas gone
The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars
Nobody, that is, except perhaps for Tandyn Almer, the mysterious then-23-year-old songwriter who concocted a fever-dream enigma worthy of a 19th-century symbolist poet, hidden inside a Billboard Hot 100 hit. Almer, a native of Minneapolis, was a child piano prodigy who quit high school, initially to become a jazz musician. Instead, he drifted to Los Angeles in the early 1960s and became part of the folk-rock scene at the Troubadour, the famed West Hollywood nightclub that became a launching pad for superstars ranging from the Byrds to the Eagles.
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There were people who thought Almer might become as big as those acts, or perhaps even bigger. But instead, Almer – who reportedly was plagued by bipolar disorder – retreated back east, into obscurity. He drove a taxicab and working in an electronics factory while he continued to compose songs for his own enjoyment. Nevertheless, when he died on Jan. 8 at age 70 in McLean, Va., he left behind a remarkable legacy: a song that continues to intrigue listeners nearly a half-century after it was written.
Here are some facts about “Along Comes Mary” and its composer:
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