Spin Master

AARP Magazine - August 16, 2012

Celebrating a label that puts artists first

When trumpet great Herb Alpert and promoter Jerry Moss lent their initials to A&M Records, the label they cofounded in Alpert’s West Hollywood garage in 1962, they had one goal:  to run it from a musician’s perspective.  “You’ve got to nurture the artist,” says Alpert, 77, recalling how the Carpenter’s disappointing 1969 debut was knocked for being too soft and cute.  But when their equally sweet second album, Close to You, was a smash, “I became a genius,” he says, laughing.  The Anniversary Collection marks A&M’s 50th birthday with a co-founder-curated triple-CD set highlighting a savvy roster of pure pop (from Janet Jackson to Captain & Tennille), rad rock (The Police), and smooth R&B (Chuck Mangione).  An avid sculptor who still performs with his singer wife, Lani Hall, Alpert says the music industry has less patience these days with new artists, adding, “We always thought that if we made a great record, there’d eventually be an audience.”  – Richard Gehr