Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Herb Alpert Keeps Making Music in 'Strange Times'

Nov 5, 2017

Herb Alpert has sold millions of records as a trumpeter, bandleader and vocalist, but he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 for co-founding A&M Records with Jerry Moss -- which went from a $200 business run out of Alpert's garage to a reported half-billion-dollar company by the time of its sale in 1989.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Herb Alpert will be at the Kent Stage Wednesday, and WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia recently spoke with the legendary musician and entrepreneur.

Herb Alpert still practices the trumpet every day. The man who once outsold the Beatles, who discovered acts ranging from The Carpenters to The Police, whose music has appeared everywhere from “The Dating Game” to “General Hospital” is hitting the road at age 82 with wife Lani Hall in support of two recently released LPs and a major reissue campaign. Why does he keep making music?

“I try to put on positive music. I think we’re going through a very strange time in this country, and I want that music to be upbeat. And when you leave our concerts, most people always feel better for the experience than when they walked in.”

Alpert is the only person to ever hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts both as a singer and a trumpet player, and he says he’ll be doing both during his upcoming tour.

He says – as a businessman and a musician – it’s all about self-expression.

“Louis Armstrong did that – his personality came right through the horn. I just want to be me; I don’t want to line myself up with Miles Davis or any of the great trumpet players. You never really get to where you want to go as a musician.

"Dizzy Gillespie was a good friend of mine and he used to say, ‘The closer I get, the farther it looks.’  I love that expression.”

Alpert sold A&M in the late 1980s, and he and business partner Jerry Moss were inducted into the Rock Hall in 2006.

The entire interview with Herb Alpert is below: