Herb Alpert and the ampersand (&)

Harry

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Real minutiae. Read at your own risk.

As you might have noticed from my picture sleeve thread, I'm sort of doing a bit or organizing and cataloging some singles. One of the things that I've noticed is the billing of the artist on the labels and the picture sleeves is occasionally different - but only in terms of the use of the ampersand symbol.

On the earliest records, the artist was credited as "The Tijuana Brass featuring Herb Alpert". Then came "Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass". Finally things sort-of standardized as "Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass."

But I have some duplicated titles where the label credits the group as "Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass", while another pressing of the same title lists "Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass." Now I'm sure that this was purely a printing convention at one pressing plant versus another. We know that Monarch pressed some, while Columbia may have pressed others, and the typesetting and fonts were determined by the pressing plants.

But in examining this phenomenon, I looked for an explanation of the ampersand and its use and something jumped out at me:

From Wikipedia, for what it's worth:
Wikipedia said:
In film credits for stories, screenplays, etc., & indicates a closer collaboration than and. The ampersand is used by the Writers Guild of America to denote two writers collaborating on a specific script, rather than one writer rewriting another's work. In screenplays, two authors joined with & collaborated on the script, while two authors joined with and worked on the script at different times and may not have consulted each other at all.[18][19] In the latter case, they both contributed enough significant material to the screenplay to receive credit but did not work together.
It is with great certainty that I conclude that although there is a somewhat technical distinction here, that actual usage of the ampersand in the artist's field on the records doesn't mean anything different than the "and". This conclusion is supported by the fact that some of the picture sleeves use the "&" while the actual record uses "and" - while at the same time a different pressing of the same title with a picture sleeve both agree and use the "&".

Based on a couple of examples, it appears that Monarch pressings may have favored the "and" while other places might have used the "&".

By the way, apparently the & symbol was once considered part of the alphabet, coming after the "Z". It was pronounced "and per se", with the "per se" from the Latin meaning by itself. Over time, the language corrupted a bit and "and-per-se" became "ampersand".

Anyone want to check their Brasil '66 records? 😊
 
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Bobberman

Well-Known Member
You make a Good point I never thought of it that way but that's what's fun about the Corner We learn something new all the time Thanks "Professor Harry" and I mean that as a compliment with The Utmost Respect and Honor because you and others here have And Continue to Educate me even on things I haven't thought about.
 

David S

Active Member
Real minutiae. Read at your own risk.

As you might have noticed from my picture sleeve thread, I'm sort of doing a bit or organizing and cataloging some singles. One of the things that I've noticed is the billing of the artist on the labels and the picture sleeves is occasionally different - but only in terms of the use of the ampersand symbol.

On the earliest records, the artist was credited as "The Tijuana Brass featuring Herb Alpert". Then came "Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass". Finally things sort-of standardized as "Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass."

But I have some duplicated titles where the label credits the group as "Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass", while another pressing of the same title lists "Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass." Now I'm sure that this was purely a printing convention at one pressing plant versus another. We know that Monarch pressed some, while Columbia may have pressed others, and the typesetting and fonts were determined by the pressing plants.

But in examining this phenomenon, I looked for an explanation of the ampersand and its use and something jumped out at me:

From Wikipedia, for what it's worth:


It is with great certainty that I conclude that although there is a somewhat technical distinction here, that actual usage of the ampersand in the artist's field on the records doesn't mean anything different than the "and". This conclusion is supported by the fact that some of the picture sleeves use the "&" while the actual record uses "and" - while at the same time a different pressing of the same title with a picture sleeve both agree and use the "&".

Based on a couple of examples, it appears that Monarch pressings may have favored the "and" while other places might have used the "&".

By the way, apparently the & symbol was once considered part of the alphabet, coming after the "Z". It was pronounced "and per se", with the "per se" from the Latin meaning by itself. Over time, the language corrupted a bit and "and-per-se" became "ampersand".

Anyone want to check their Brasil '66 records? 😊
Yes, it makes for cataloguing albums that have been ripped to digital formats, or bought that way, challenging. Another issue is “the” or “The” before Tijuana Brass.
I have the same issue with music of Mary Chapin Carpenter. Early releases have her name as Mary-Chapin.
 

Harry

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Many years ago I was diligent and had the digital versions all spelled out with these many variations until I went to look for specific albums or tracks. That's when I learned to change EVERYTHING to "Herb Alpert". Nothing more, nothing less.

Same with Sergio Mendes. For the Baja Marimba Band, I compromised and made everything "Julius Wechter & The Baja Marimba Band", regardless of how it was billed on the record.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I like the Wikipedia info on how the ampersand is used in credits. I had already figured this out because I knew some TV and movie writer collaborating teams. If you saw a credit that said "Written by Bill Johnson and George Carter, and Bob Jones & Henry Jackson, that told you that Bill and George were separate writers, where Bob and Henry collaborated together as a team.

As for the Tijuana Brass.... I have a feeling it was just the preferred style of whoever designed the logos for the albums, or the person who type-set the album labels and cover text, that came in to play more than a definition of what "&" really signifies, but to me the group name looks better with the "&" in it. I do hate it when people use "&" in general text.... it is really supposed to be spelled out, in that case.

For my digital versions -- I actually have three Herb Alpert folders. One for Herb Alpert, one for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, and one for Herb Alpert & the T.J.B. That way I can "shuffle" just the era I want. I'm thinking about maybe creating a new folder for Herb's growing list of recent albums, but I can't figure out what to call it. Herb Alpert Jazz, maybe.

Same story with Sergio Mendes - I have a Brasil '66 folder, a Brasil '77 folder, and just plain Sergio Mendes.

For the Baja Marimba Band, I have everything under Baja Marimba Band since there are no Julius Wechter solo albums, plus his name was usually in smallish type on the album covers compared to the BMB name.

Another challenge was Cat Stevens / Yusuf. I finally decided to put everything of his under Cat Stevens. It all sounds the same, and I hate the name "Yusuf," so that's my choice and I'm stickin' to it!
 

Rudy

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I made it easy on myself re: folders--Sergio and anything he's done goes there, same for Herb, and anyone else. Especially Pat Metheny--he's performed under his own name, with the Group, in his Trio, the Unity Group, and in numerous duets, trios and quartets. Roon handles what I play back so in actuality, it doesn't matter where I store it....although I need things organized in order to maintain the library.
 

Mr Bill

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Fascinating thread! Being a film school nerd who attempted the whole "Hollywood thing" for years, I DID know about the "and" and the "Ampersand" thing in screen writing credits. There is no better example of this than 1978's Superman: The Movie... with no less than 7 people credited with the story and screenplay (if you include Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman).

As for organizing my music... Well, I HATE that iTunes alphabetizes by first name. Herb Alpert goes under "A" -- not "H." No wonder the current generation of kids are the way they are!!! I spend much time renaming files and folder because of that. I wish there were an automatic way to override the defaults!

So my Herb music is in the following folders:
Alpert, Dore
Alpert, Herb
Alpert, Herb (and the Tijuana Brass)
Alpert, Herb (and Hugh Masekela)
Alpert, Herb (and Lani Hall)
Alpert, Herbie (and his Sextet)

I've been torn over whether or not the two 1970s albums should get a folder named Alpert, Herb (and the TJB). (For that matter, should I divide the Wrecking Crew albums (Lonely Bull through WC&OD) from the classic brassmen we know and love?) But if I did that, then Bullish would be worthy of it's very own folder as the artist is credited as Herb Alpert Tijuana Brass... Which leads to this situation:

Where it gets tricky is if an artist's name IS the band name, like The Eugene Ormandy Orchestra, which goes under "E" since The Eugene Ormandy Orchestra is the name of the band. It would have been under "O" if the artist was listed as Eugene Ormandy and his Orchestra. Naturally, as we learned in library class back in first grade, "The" and "A" are disregarded -- a real challenge when I filed my recordings by The The back in the 80s!

And, in those collaborative cases like Hugh or Lani... the files are repeated under the other artist's folders as well... But that's when the artist is an individual artist -- no folder for "and his Sextet" or "Tijuana Brass."

(Needless to say I suffer from CDO -- it's just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order -- as they SHOULD be)

--Mr Bill
 
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