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During the rehearsal, one of the cameramen recognized me and mentioned casually that my father worked for ABC radio. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the A&M Records release of Whipped Cream and Other Delights by Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass.They walked us through it, where we sat, what to do after the girl made her selection, etc. (I’ve since become friends with Howard Kaylan and he can’t even remember that event). Then it was back to this waiting room until we were called for the show. Two days after the show aired I got invited to go on again for their alumni show. I just remember doing an Elvis impression and trashing the institution of marriage. Instead I went home with 50 pairs of Ray-Ban sunglasses or something useless like that. A few years later I was working as an intern at KMPC radio in Los Angeles. He spotted me down the hall and amazingly, remembered me. Two days later at the station I get a call from THE DATING GAME. Realizing early on that his favorite artists like Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz gained early commercial success by finding their own musical style, Alpert set out to do the same.
It seems every middle-class household in Sixties America bought an Alpert album only to jettison it years later like embarrassing wallpaper.Alpert, who is 82, made his best-remembered records in the 1960s.His 1965 “Whipped Cream and Other Delights” with the Tijuana Brass, the title track of which was written by the late Allen Toussaint, became an indelible American earworm as theme music on "The Dating Game." Its followup, “Going Places,” was another addictive, rollicking collection of jazzy pop that included well-known Alpert cuts like “Tijuana Taxi” and “Spanish Flea.”But the crowd at the Jazz Tent wasn’t a nostalgia crew.(The pair, sporting their WWOZ Brass Passes, were at Jazz Fest on Thursday for fun, not work.)“I knew the Herb Alpert songbook as a teenager,” Oborn said, “but I’ve never seen him before. And they seem very much in love.”Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, who have been married for 43 years, met when he signed the bossa nova jazz artist Sergo Mendes and his group Brasil 66, for whom Hall was a singer, to Alpert’s A&M Records.From the Jazz Fest stage, Alpert recalled – with genuine pleasure, it seemed – the first time he heard his future wife perform. The couple shared the stage with an easy give-and-take that implied a long and happy partnership, both romantic and creative.