Herbert "Herb" Alpert (born March 31, 1935) is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, or TJB. Inscribed Photograph Signed, n.d. - 7 1/2 x 10 B/W - written in blk ink in the hand of the author. Overall, fine/very fine condition.
Alpert is also a recording industry executive, the "A" of A&M Records, a recording label he and business partner, Jerry Moss, founded and eventually sold to Polygram. Alpert has also created abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture over two decades, which are publicly displayed on occasion. Alpert and wife Lani Hall are substantial philanthropists through the operation of the Herb Alpert Foundation.
Alpert’s musical accomplishments include five No. 1 albums and 28 albums total on the Billboard Album chart, nine Grammy Awards, fourteen platinum albums, and fifteen gold albums.
As of 1996, Alpert had sold 72 million albums worldwide. Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist (“This Guy’s in Love with You", 1968) and an instrumentalist ("Rise", 1979).
Alpert set up a small recording studio in his garage and had been overdubbing a tune called "Twinkle Star", written by Sol Lake, who would eventually write many of the Brass's original tunes. During a visit to Tijuana, Mexico, Alpert happened to hear a mariachi band while attending a bullfight. Following the experience, Alpert recalled that he was inspired to find a way to express musically what he felt while watching the wild responses of the crowd, and hearing the brass musicians introducing each new event with rousing fanfare.
Alpert adapted the trumpet style to the tune, mixed in crowd cheers and other noises for ambience, and renamed the song “The Lonely Bull”.
He personally funded the production of the record as a single, and it spread through radio DJs until it caught on and became a Top 10 hit in the Fall of 1962. He followed up quickly with his debut album, The Lonely Bull by "Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass". Originally the Tijuana Brass was just Alpert overdubbing his own trumpet, slightly out of sync. The title cut reached No. 6 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. This was A&M’s first album with the original release number being #101, although it was recorded at Conway Records.
The Tijuana Brass's success helped spawn other Latin acts, notably Julius Wechter (long-time friend of Alpert's and the marimba player for the Brass) and the Baja Marimba Band, and the profits allowed A&M to begin building a repertoire of artists like Chris Montez and The Sandpipers. Wechter contributed a number of the Brass’s original songs, usually at least one per album—along with Alpert friends Sol Lake and Ervan “Bud" Coleman.
An album or two was released each year throughout the 1960s. Alpert's band was featured in several TV specials, each one usually centered on visual interpretations of the songs from their latest album—essentially an early type of music videos later made famous by MTV. The first Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass special, sponsored by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, aired on April 24, 1967 on CBS.
Alpert and the Tijuana Brass won six Grammy Awards. Fifteen of their albums won gold discs, and fourteen won platinum discs. In 1966 over 13 million Alpert recordings were sold, outselling the Beatles. That same year, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized that Alpert set a new record by placing five albums simultaneously in the Top 20 on the Billboard Pop Album chart, an accomplishment that has never been repeated. In April of that year, four of those albums were in the Top 10, simultaneously.
Alpert was referenced in the second show of the third season of Get Smart where one of the code signals between Maxwell Smart and his contact was "Herb Alpert takes trumpet lessons from Guy Lombardo." Also, a fifth-season episode parodied the entire group as Max and 99 sought to unmask “Herb Talbot and His Tijuana Tin” as KAOS spies.
The phenomenal popularity of the Tijuana Brass in the 1960s spawned countless imitation groups on cheaply-produced drugstore records, such as the Mexicali Brass, Mariachi Brass, Guadalajara Brass, Bullfight Brass, Pert Lapert and his Iguana Brass, etc. and several comic parodies as well, including the Frivolous Five’s "Sour Cream and Other Delights", Bob Booker and George Foster's production "Al Tijuana's Jewish Brass", and David Seville and the Chipmunks' "Sorry About That, Herb!".