Music industry giant Jerry Moss, co-founder of independent label A&M Records, has passed away. He was 88.
Jerry Moss, who, alongside Herb Alpert, founded A&M Records and created one of the country’s most successful independent record labels, passed away in his Los Angeles home on Wednesday at age 88. His family says he died of natural causes.
Inducted alongside Alpert into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Moss ran one of the industry’s leading independent labels, releasing iconic albums like Alpert’s “Whipped Cream & Other Delights,” Carole King’s “Tapestry,” and Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive!” The label counted among its roster such artists as Cat Stevens, the Carpenters, Janet Jackson, Joe Cocker, Soundgarden, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, and the Go-Go’s.
“They truly don’t make them like him anymore, and we will miss conversations with him about everything under the sun,” reads a statement from Moss’ widow Tina, “the twinkle in his eyes as he approached every moment ready for the next adventure.”
A&M Records was home to such hit singles as the Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” Peter Frampton’s “Show Me the Way,” and the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”
“Every once in a while a record would come through us, and Herbie would look at me and say, ‘What did we do to deserve this, that this amazing thing is going to come out on our label?’” said Jerry Moss in an interview with archive and resource center Artist House Music in 2007.
One of Moss’ final public appearances took place in January when he was honored with a tribute concert at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Performances included Frampton, Dionne Warwick (who was not an A&M artist but had been close to Moss since the early ’60s when he helped promote her music), and Amy Grant.
“Herb was the artist, and Jerry had the vision. It just changed the face of the record industry,” said singer Rita Coolidge on the event’s red carpet. “Certainly, A&M made such a difference, and it’s where everybody wanted to be.”
“Jerry Moss was one of music’s true pioneers and great entrepreneurs with a unique vision for what a label should be and how to build trusting long-term relationships with artists,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group.
“The independent spirit he and Herb Alpert championed at A&M Records is foundational to the culture that powers UMG today. On behalf of everyone at UMG, we offer our deepest condolences to his family.”
Jerry Moss is survived by his second wife, Tina, and three children.