PASSINGS: Larry Ramos, Billy Frank Jr.
Larry Ramos, 72, a singer and guitarist who harmonized on the hit songs “Windy” and “Never My Love” for the Association in the 1960s, died Wednesday in Clarkston, Wash., his family announced. A longtime resident of Grangeville, Idaho, he had numerous ailments over the last few years.
The Association, formed around the core of guitarist Gary Jules Alexander and singer-songwriter Terry Kirkman in Los Angeles in 1965, featured a large ensemble of singers and musicians who fused pop, rock, folk and psychedelic sounds with soaring, tight harmonies.
Ramos, who had been performing with the New Christy Minstrels folk group, was invited to join the Association in 1967 when Alexander left to travel to India. Besides playing guitar and harmonizing on the lead vocals for “Windy” and “Never My Love,” both top-five Billboard pop hits, Ramos played with the Association at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. The band broke up in 1973 but reformed periodically with various members for tours, and Ramos often joined those revivals.
Born April 19, 1942, in Waimea on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Ramos was of Filipino descent. He learned to play the ukulele as a child, performed on Arthur Godfrey’s talent shows and as a teenager acted in a touring production of “The King and I” starring Yul Brynner.
In the early ‘60s he sang and played banjo and other stringed instruments with the New Christy Minstrels, including during their time as a backup band on “The Andy Williams Show.”
Billy Frank Jr.
Native American led Northwest ‘fish wars’
Billy Frank Jr., 83, the tribal fisherman who led the Northwest “fish wars” that helped restore fishing rights for American Indians four decades ago, died Monday, according to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and the Nisqually tribe near Olympia, Wash. The cause was not immediately known.
“He was a selfless leader who dedicated his life to the long fight for the rights of our state’s native people,” Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. “Billy was a champion of tribal rights, of the salmon and the environment. He did that even when it meant putting himself in physical danger or facing jail.”
Born on the Nisqually reservation in 1931, Frank was first arrested for salmon fishing as a boy in 1945 — an event that led him on a long campaign for tribal rights. He and others were repeatedly arrested as they staged “fish-ins” demanding the right to fish in their historical waters, as they were guaranteed in treaties when they ceded land to white settlers in the 19th century. Frank was jailed more than 50 times.
The efforts were vindicated in 1974, when U.S. District Judge George Boldt affirmed the tribes’ right to half of the fish harvest — and the nation’s obligation to honor the old treaties.
Over the next 40 years, Frank continued to advocate for tribal fishing rights and protection of natural resources, including salmon.
Only weeks ago, he and other tribal members met with federal environmental regulators to push for more stringent water quality standards to reduce the amount of pollution that accumulates in fish. The standards would especially protect native people who eat large amounts of salmon and other fish from Washington state waters.
Times staff and wire reports
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