Herb Alpert is that rare breed of musician who was both a wildly successful performer and an adroit music executive.
The genesis of his namesake act, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, was sparked when the young trumpeter noticed the crowd response to musical cues from a mariachi band during a bullfight in Tijuana, Mexico. Alpert then adapted his primary instrument to this new influence and built an unparalleled musical resume that includes five number one hits, eight Grammy Awards, 14 platinum albums, 15 gold albums and 28 releases that hit the Billboard charts with worldwide sales of 72 million albums to date.
Alpert and music executive Jerry Moss founded A&M Records in 1962, using their initials to name the new imprint ; the label would become home to artists like The Carpenters, Quincy Jones, The Police, Bryan Adams, Cat Stevens and Peter Frampton through the early 1990s. In celebration of his longevity and level of success, Alpert is receiving some big time accolades this week.
First, “The Anniversary Collection” – a compilation triple album comprised of 60 tracks spanning A&M’s musical legacy – will be released today to mark the label’s 50th birthday. And this weekend, Alpert and his wife, vocalist Lani Hall, will perform a concert this Saturday to support Fairfax High School as part of the school’s 2012 Hall of Fame ceremony. Alpert is a well known philanthropist and will participate in the benefit show in order to give future music and art students similar opportunities to the ones he had.
Will the music business ever see an artist as diverse and successful as Herb Alpert again? How has he balanced such a prolific career with behind-the-scenes success? How has the music business changed since Alpert started his career?
Herb Alpert, musician and music executive; founder and leader of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass; co-founder of A&M Records