No one would be surprised to find that A&M Records, the most successful independent American label, headquartered in Hollywood no less, had the majority of their pop and jazz music successes come from U.S. recording artists, starting with Herb Alpert himself (the “A” in A&M), Burt Bacharach, The Carpenters, and Sheryl Crow. But curiously the A&M did not stand for “AMerican” when it came to their rock music signings, which didn’t start in earnest until A&M Records opened a London office just prior to the dawn of the Seventies.
Believe it or not, not one of these musicians was asked to comment on their relationship with their label, but in the course of discussing their respective careers each musician invariably volunteered stories of remarkable support by A&M Records without being prompted by me to do so. Listening to these unsolicited testimonials it becomes clear that Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss invested not only financially but loyally and patiently as well, true patrons of 20th century music. A&M Records comes across not as a corporation but as a team of righteous facilitators, artistic dream catchers. Part one has interviews & music celebrating the 50th anniversary, including Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton, Joe Cocker, & Paul Rodgers of Free. Part 1 of 3.