One of the most successful instrumental performers in pop history, trumpeter Herb Alpert was also one of the entertainment industry's shrewdest businessmen: A&M, the label he co-founded, ranks among the most prosperous artist-owned companies ever established. A&M grew to become the world's biggest independent label; among its greatest successes were the Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, and Sergio Mendes. Nevertheless, Alpert and his backing unit, the Tijuana Brass, remained the label's flagship act: on the strength of the hit "A Taste of Honey," his 1965 LP Whipped Cream & Other Delights topped the charts, popularizing his Latin-influenced style. ~ Jason Ankeny
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