Producer and composer Curt Boettcher was among the principal architects of the sunshine pop sound of the mid-'60s, his harmony laden, melody rich approach gracing the Top Ten hits of the Association as well as his own projects, including Sagittarius and the Millennium. Born and raised in Wisconsin, he began his career as a folksinger, co-founding the GoldeBriars in 1962; the group's self-titled debut album appeared on Epic two years later. Although the GoldeBriars' complex harmonies anticipated the style of Boettcher's subsequent work, the foursome dissolved after a second LP, Straight Ahead; he then turned to studio work, in 1966 arranging the Association's breakthrough hit "Along Comes Mary." The chart-topping "Cherish" followed and Boettcher also produced the band's debut album And Then, Along Comes the Association; however, the collaboration soon ended and in between producing material for Tommy Roe, Boettcher turned his focus to his own group the Ballroom, recording a long-unreleased LP which finally saw release three decades later on Rev-Ola under the title Preparing for the Millennium.
Boettcher then signed on with producer Gary Usher's studio supergroup Sagittarius; 1967's Present Tense also featured contributions from the Beach Boys' Bruce Johnston and Glen Campbell, the latter assuming lead vocals on the classic "My World Fell Down." While recording Present Tense, Boettcher formed the Millennium, which issued its sole album Begin -- the product of what was then the most costly recording session in the history of Columbia Records -- in 1968. After the record's commercial failure, he returned to studio work, but in 1973 issued a solo album, There's an Innocent Face. In the process of contributing production and session vocals to a handful of late-'70s Beach Boys releases, Boettcher changed his name to the more phonetic Becher; he died in 1987. ~ Jason Ankeny
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