Herb Alpert (b. March 31, 1935) is a virtuoso trumpeter, composer, singer, songwriter, producer, businessman, and bandleader who became famous beginning in the early 1960s as the leader of The Tijuana Brass. His best known songs include "The Lonely Bull (El Solo Torro)" (1962), "Taste Of Honey" (1965), "This Guy's In Love With You" (1968), "Rise" (1979), and "Diamonds" (1987), as well as "Whipped Cream" (1965), "Spanish Flea" (1966), and a number of other Tijuana Brass favorites that were used as musical cues on TV's "The Dating Game."
Born in Los Angeles into a musical family, Alpert began studying the trumpet at age 8 and played at various functions throughout high school and college and while enlisted in the Army. During the late 1950s, he launched his music career as a songwriter for Keen Records, and with Lou Adler, he co-wrote such oldies classics as Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World" and Jan & Dean's "Baby Talk." In 1960, he made his first recordings on Dot Records as Dore Alpert before forming his own record label, A&M, with Jerry Moss in 1962 (later sold to PolyGram).
As a performing artist, Alpert first came to prominence with The Tijuana Brass, releasing an era-defining series of cheerful, mariachi-infused instrumental hits throughout the 1960s. In the beginning, the "Tijuana Brass" was mostly Alpert overdubbed on trumpet with some session musicians, but by 1965, an actual Tijuana Brass group had materialized that consisted of Alpert (trumpet, vocals), Tonni Kalash (trumpet), Bob Edmondson (trombone), John Pisano (guitar), Nick Ceroli (drums), Lou Pagani (piano), and Pat Senatore (bass guitar). The Tijuana Brass underwent a number of personnel changes thereafter before the group had finally morphed to Herb Alpert & The T.J.B. in the early 1970s.
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1962 with "The Lonely Bull (El Solo Torro)," which became a Top 10 hit. This smash was followed by a long string of hits on both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts that include "Whipped Cream" (1965), "Taste Of Honey" (1965), "Zorba The Greek" (1965), "Tijuana Taxi" (1965), "What Now My Love" (1966), "Spanish Flea" (1966), "The Work Song" (1966), "Flamingo" (1966), "Mame" (1966), "Wade In The Water" (1967), "Casino Royale" (1967), "The Happening" (1967), and "A Banda (Ah Bahn-da)" (1967). Alpert had his greatest hits as a solo performer with the sung "This Guy's In Love With You" (1968) and the instrumental "Rise" (1979), which both topped the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts during their respective years. His solo hits, which continued through the late 1980s, also include "Rotation" (1979), "Route 101" (1982), and "Diamonds" (1987, with Janet Jackson and Lisa Keith), the latter of which topped the R&B charts. Alpert's final charting song came in 1991 with "North On South St.," an R&B Top 40 hit.
Herb Alpert's numerous honors and accolades include nine Grammys, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1977), and a 2012 National Medal of Arts award. Along with Jerry Moss, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 as a non-performer lifetime achiever for his work at A&M. Alpert has three recordings inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame: "Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66," "The Lonely Bull," and "Taste Of Honey." A top selling artist with 72 million records sold worldwide to date, his long string of recordings includes 14 platinum albums and 15 gold albums, with five topping the Billboard 200.
- For more info about Herb Alpert and his current projects, visit herbalpert.com.
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The Tijuana Brass Featuring Herb Alpert
- The Lonely Bull (El Solo Torro) 1962
- This Guy's In Love With You 1968
(This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for Dionne Warwick (1969, as "This Girl's In Love With You").)
Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass
- A Banda (Ah Bahn-da) 1967
- Casino Royale 1967
- Flamingo 1966
- Mame 1966
(This song also became a hit for Bobby Darin (1966) and Louis Armstrong (1966).)
- Spanish Flea 1966
- Taste Of Honey 1965
(This instrumental song was previously a hit for Martin Denny (1962), the Victor Feldman Quarter (1962), and Tony Bennett (1964).)
- Tijuana Taxi 1965
- Wade In The Water 1967
(This instrumental song, which is a more modern rendition of a spiritual dating back to 1901, was previously a hit for Ramsey Lewis (1966, instrumental version).)
- What Now My Love 1966
(This instrumental song also became a hit for Sonny & Cher (1966), "Groove" Holmes (1966) and Mitch Ryder (1967).)
- The Work Song 1966
- Zorba The Greek 1965
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