Friday, May 02, 2014

Passings: Larry Ramos of the Association (1942 - 2014)

Source: Ramos' Facebook page
Hilario "Larry" Ramos, whose career took him from the New Christy Minstrels to the Association, died on Wednesday from metastatic melanoma at the age of 72.

A touching note was posted by Ramos' daughter on his Facebook page Wednesday evening:
It is with immense sadness I write this. My Dad, Larry Ramos passed away this evening. As you all know he had been ill for the past three years following his heart attack in 2011. What you don't know is he was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma last year (he wanted that diagnosis to be kept private while he was alive.) While his illnesses were trying at times, his passing was peaceful and he was surrounded by family.

We are devastated beyond words at our loss and will miss him tremendously! I personally will miss his endearing salutations but find comfort in a conversation I had with him upon learning his condition was terminal.

I said, "Well Daddy, it looks like we're going to have to finish your bucket list, what it is you still want to do?"

He simply said, "Nothing honey, I've done it all."

Not many people can honestly say that but Daddy did and meant it. He had a wonderful life (got to go home and eat the biggest and best LauLau on the islands) and will forever be remembered and immortalized in his music.

At his retirement concert in February he asked my sister how he did and was happy when her response was, "You did great daddy!"

He said, "Good honey, cause that's how I always want you to remember me."

We will and hope you do too!

Thank you for all your love and support, it has meant so much to us. Daddy loved performing and genuinely loved connecting with fans.

Aloha,
The Ramos Family
Ramos had a natural musical ability but started his career acting. At the age of seven, he was in the movie Pagan Love Song with Esther Williams and appeared on both Arthur Godfrey's radio and television shows. While he was in his teens, he toured the country with The King and I starring Yul Brynner.

Larry eventually went to college and, after graduating, began playing coffeehouses around the Los Angeles area. It was during one of the appearances that Randy Sparks saw him and brought him into the New Christy Minstrels where he started playing banjo and moved up to other instruments.

Ramos stayed with the group for four years before attempting a solo career that produced one single before he began filling in on occasion in the Association. He was asked to join the band in 1967 when founding member Gary Alexander left and was with them from the recording of their third album, Insight Out, until he left in the mid-1975. While he was not involved with the group's early hits (Along Comes Mary, Cherish) his voice and playing can be heard on such standards as Windy, Never My Love, Everything That Touches You and Time For Livin'.

Larry returned to the band in 1979 for an HBO Special, Then and Now, and has been active with them through the years since with occasional recording and regular touring.

In January, both Russ Giguere and Ramos announced they were retiring from touring. Larry had previously had a heart attack but he was keeping his latest diagnosis secret. Ramos played his farewell concert on February 24 in Grandville, ID.


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