Iconic 'Up with People' group founder passes away at 88

Iconic 'Up with People' group founder passes away at 88
International group 'Up With People' lost one of their founders , Herb Allen, this past weekend.

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A international organization that planted its roots here in Tucson decades ago is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Up With People may no longer be headquartered in Tucson, but the group still had strong ties to the Old Pueblo through one of their founders.

Founder Herb Allen passed away at the age of 88 over the weekend.

Through the eyes of Allen, the key to happiness would be through music.

Allen's friend Ralph Colwell remembered him for his kind and caring composure.

"He had a special talent for teaching music to young people who didn't think they had any musical talent," Colwell said.

Below is a video of the theme song for Up With People, which was written in 1965 Ralph Colwell and his brother Paul.

Colwell and Allen were friends for 65 years and together founded Up With People, which taught thousands and promoted global harmony.

"All the students weren't just top students or dancers," Colwell said. "They were just ordinary kids who wanted to make a difference in the world."

Up With People once called the University of Arizona home, but its impact stretched much further.

"Our mission was to break down barriers," Colwell said.

Allen was part of a legacy that reinvented the Super Bowl halftime show by being the first non-marching band to perform when they took the field in 1976.

Through their organization, Allen and the group gave others a chance to find their voice.

An accomplished xylophonist himself, he loved living in Tucson with his wife.

"They should be remembered as very prominent citizens of this city for what they accomplished in their lives," Colwell said.

Their memories will continue to last a lifetime.

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