Alpert and Moss play out at A&M Records: End of an era as co-founders resign three years after PolyGram bought firm

THE music business saw the end of an era yesterday with the resignation of the legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert and his colleague Jerry Moss from A&M Records, the company they established in 1962.

A&M was sold for dollars 500m three years ago to PolyGram - part of Philips, the Dutch electronics group - and the co-founders are now to relinquish their respective posts as vice- chairman and chairman of A&M to pursue other interests.

The record company takes its name from its founders' initials. It was set up in Herb Alpert's garage in Los Angeles and was launched on the world with the release of 'Lonely Bull' from Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass. A&M went on to sign a host of artists including Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, Burt Bacharach, Peter Frampton, the Carpenters and the Police.

Among more recent top-sellers for A&M - now housed in the former film studios of Charlie Chaplin - are Janet Jackson, Bryan Adams, Suzanne Vega and Amy Grant. The co- founders will now pursue their careers from the headquarters of Rondor, their music publishing enterprise, on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles. Mr Moss will give up his position on the main management board of PolyGram.

Mr Alpert, whose own record sales were more than 72 million, said: 'It's been 31 miraculous years and it's time to move on.'

Alain Levy, president and chief executive officer of PolyGram, said the parting was entirely amicable. He said: 'Herb and Jerry have made a tremendous contribution to the music industry and in their years at A&M created a very special company.'

PolyGram said that it has been known for some time that Mr Alpert and Mr Moss want to devote more time to other business, creative and philanthropic pursuits. A&M will continue under the presidency of Al Cafaro.

PolyGram is now diversifying into the world of films and multi-media. Last year it took a 51 per cent stake in a private Hollywood film company, Interscope. PolyGram is aiming for the film business to account for 25 per cent of sales by the end of the decade.

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