Fri March 7, 2014
Trumpeter Herb Alpert: Puttin' on the Hitz
If you were around in the 1960s, you'll remember the distinctive sound of Herb Alpert's trumpet on songs such as "The Lonely Bull," "Spanish Flea," "Lollipops and Roses," and "Whipped Cream." You probably also remember that the latter three were prominently used as theme music in the TV show, The Dating Game.
In the 1960s, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass were pretty much everywhere. In 1966 alone they sold over 13 million records, outselling the Beatles. That same year, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized that Alpert set a new record by placing five albums simultaneously in the Top 20 on the Billboard Pop Album chart, an accomplishment that has never been repeated. In April 1966, four of those albums were in the Top 10, simultaneously.
If you weren't around in the 1960s you've undoubtedly heard Alpert in other incarnations; as a soloist on his 1979 Grammy Award-winning, No. 1 hit "Rise," performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXII, or sampled on the 1997 No. 1 rap song "Hypnotize" by Notorius B.I.G. And if none of those ring a bell, you've almost certainly heard his classic Christmas Album from 1968, which continues to be popular year after year.
Fast forward to 2014 and Alpert is still going strong. Five No. 1 hits, 28 albums, nine Grammy Awards, 14 platinum albums, 15 gold albums - and with over 72 million records sold, Alpert keeps the hits coming at the ripe age of 78.
His most recent album, Steppin' Out (2013), won a Grammy in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category on January 26, 2014. Keeping it fresh, as always, it includes a hip and modern version of Irving Berlin's classic "Puttin' on the Ritz." And as if the music weren't enough, his Puttin' on the Ritz music video proves this stylish, clever, and always-hip producer, painter, sculptor, and trumpeter hasn't lost a step when it comes to putting out the hits. See how many times you can spot him in the video!