The Legacy of Jerry Moss: A Life in Music

Remembering the Co-Founder of A&M Records and His Impact on the Music Industry

Jerry Moss, the iconic music industry executive and co-founder of A&M Records, has passed away at the age of 88 at his home in Bel Air, California. Moss, along with his partner Herb Alpert, played a pivotal role in shaping the music industry, signing and nurturing a diverse array of artists. The record company housed several highly influential musical groups throughout history, such as Carole King, The Carpenters, The Police, Cat Stevens, Janet Jackson, Soundgarden, and numerous others.

Moss was born in the year 1935 in the city of New York. He pursued a major in the field of English at Brooklyn College.. After serving a brief stint in the army, he worked as a promoter before moving to Los Angeles in 1960. It was here that he met Alpert, a trumpeter and songwriter. Together, they founded a record label initially called Carnival, which they soon renamed A&M Records, using their respective initials. With an initial investment of just $100 each, they began working out of a makeshift office in Alpert’s garage.

Their early acts included Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Sergio Mendes, and The Sandpipers. After attending the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, they expanded their roster to include rock acts such as Joe Cocker and Procol Harum. One of their most successful records was Peter Frampton’s double live album “Frampton Comes Alive,” which sold more than six million copies.

In addition to his work in the music industry, Moss also had a significant presence in the world of horse racing. He and his second wife, Ann Holbrook, owned several successful racehorses, including Giacomo, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2005, and Zenyatta, named in honor of The Police album “Zenyatta Mondatta.”

Moss and Alpert were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, marking a significant recognition of their contributions to the music world. In 1989, they sold A&M Records to Polygram for an estimated $500 million but remained at the label until 1993. Later, they ran Almo Sounds, a boutique version of A&M, signing acts such as Garbage and Gillian Welch before selling the label to Universal Music Group.

Jerry Moss leaves behind a legacy that is deeply woven into the fabric of the music industry. His vision, along with Alpert’s artistry, created a label that was more than just a business; it was a family for artists, a hub of creativity, and a force that changed the face of music.

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