Herbert "Herb" Alpert is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass or TJB. He is also a recording industry executive — he is the "A" of A&M Records. Alpert's musical accomplishments include five number one hits, twenty-eight albums on the Billboard charts, eight Grammy Awards, fourteen Platinum albums and fifteen Gold albums. As of 1996, Alpert had sold 72 million albums worldwide.
Alpert was born in Los Angeles, California into a Jewish family of Russian and Romanian origins. His father Louis was from Radomyshl and although a tailor by trade, was also a talented mandolin player. His mother, Tillie, had her roots in Romania on her father's side; she herself taught violin at a young age. His older brother David was a talented young drummer. Alpert himself began trumpet lessons at the age of eight and played at dances as a teenager. Acquiring an early wire recorder in high school, he experimented on this crude equipment. After graduating from Fairfax High School in 1952, he joined the U.S. Army and frequently performed at military ceremonies. After his service in the Army, Alpert tried his hand at acting, but eventually settled on pursuing a career in music. While attending the University of Southern California in the 1950s, he was a member of the USC Trojan Marching Band for two years. In 1956, he was credited as one of the trumpet players in the film "Ten Commandments".
In 1957, Alpert teamed up with Rob Weerts, another burgeoning lyricist, as a songwriter for Keen Records. A number of songs written or co-written by Alpert during the following two years became top twenty hits, including "Baby Talk" by Jan and Dean, "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke, and "Alley-Oop" by The Hollywood Argyles and by Dante and The Evergreens. In 1960, Alpert began his recording career as a vocalist at RCA Records under the name of Dore Alpert, where he recorded early vocals.