Music industry legend Jerry Moss, who co-founded A&M Records in a Los Angeles garage and grew it into a successful label that has signed the Police, Carpenters, Janet Jackson and other big stars, died Wednesday at the age of 88.
Moss died of natural causes at his home in Bel Air, Calif., his family said in a statement.
“You really don’t get her to like him anymore and we will miss talking to him about everything under the sun,” the statement read.
“The twinkle in his eyes as he was ready for the next adventure at any moment.”
Moss founded A&M Records in Los Angeles with musician Herb Alpert and together they transformed the record label from a two-person operation out of a garage into one of the most successful independent labels in the industry.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, A&M Records released countless hit albums such as Alpert’s “Whipped Cream & Other Delights” and Carole King’s “Tapestry”.
They recorded the music of The Police, The Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Janet Jackson, Joe Crocker, The Go-Gos, Peter Frampton and Sheryl Crow.
“Every now and then a record would come through us and Herbie would look at me and be like, ‘What did we do to deserve this amazing thing coming out on our label?'” Moss told Artist House Music, an archive and resource center, in year 2007.
Both Moss and Alpert were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 for their contributions to the industry.
Moss, who was born in New York City, was last honored in January with a tribute concert at the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles.
“Herb was the artist and Jerry had the vision. It just changed the face of the record industry,” said singer Rita Coolidge at the event. “A&M has definitely made a big difference and everyone wanted to be there.”
In the late 1980s, Moss and Alpert sold A&M to Polygram for an estimated $500 million.
One of the last musicians to sign before leaving the company in 1993 was a singer from Kennett, Missouri – Sheryl Crow.
“We wanted people to be happy,” Moss told the New York Times in 2010. “You can’t force people to make a certain kind of music. They make their best music when they do what they want to do and not what we expect them to do.”
In the 2000s, Moss found success in a different, entirely different industry—horse racing—when his horse Giacomo won the 2005 Kentucky Derby.
The horse was named after the son of A&M artist Sting.
Moss is survived by his wife, Tina Morse, and three children.