Jerry Moss: Legendary A&M Records Co-Founder

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Jerry Moss: Legendary A&M Records Co-Founder 2/14/2018
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Today, we present the story of a legend who facilitated incredible change in the music business. I’m sitting down with the one-of-a-kind Jerry Moss, Co-founder of A&M Records. If you’ve heard of artists like The Police and Sting, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Peter Frampton, Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, Chet Baker, Bryan Adams, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, and Cheech and Chong, then you’ve listened to some of  the products of Jerry’s keen ear for good sound. Founded together with iconic trumpet playing recording artist, Herb Alpert, A&M records has signed artists with astounding careers and lasting legacies. You will get to hear all the history of the world’s largest independent record label, as well as some of the coolest stories of Jerry’s personal journey. His story is truly remarkable.

He’s worked with some of the best artists in the world, been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and even won the Kentucky Derby! Jerry Moss has led an extraordinary life and humbly tells us how lucky he feels. Starting with a dream to sit at the entertainer’s table in the Catskills, Jerry’s career in music began with a series of fortunate acquaintances and opportunities taken. Although not an actual musician, he has a keen musician’s ear and has made many brilliant signings based on experiencing artists perform, as well as influencing some of the greatest recordings.

“We hired great people, and we didn’t stand for any corruption in any way.” – Jerry Moss 

You’ll hear stories of working with Sting and the Police, as well as incredible discoveries made with international artists like Soundgarden. Artists like The Carpenters and Garbage also found their advocate and supporter in Jerry. Everything he chooses to be a part of is intentional, and good things are manifested from his honorable actions. Jerry has paved a path through a notoriously shady industry with integrity and honor.

Episode Highlights: 

  • Discover how Jerry’s upbringing in the Bronx has influenced his career choices and opportunities.
  • Learn what motivated Jerry to get into the music business.
  • In spite of the challenges, Jerry maintained the highest sense of integrity throughout
  • Partnering with Herb Alpert was true magic.
  • Learn the decision process behind signing current pop artists, and then why he made the switch to Rock n’ Roll.
  • Why the lyrics and delivery matter most to Jerry.
  • Developing artists was part of the process at A&M
  • Jerry particularly loved signing artists with great performance ability.
  • Jerry has a huge passion for horse racing.

Suggested Reading:

Broken Music by Sting 



Dennis Chambers: Modern Drummer Hall of Fame Award Recipient

Extraordinary Ordinary People by Andy Kushner Dennis Chambers: Modern Drummer Hall of Fame Award Recipient 1/24/2018
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The story of how I met Dennis Chambers started with a  music performance I will never forget. However, that’s not why I’m here. Today, we learn how Dennis Chambers became the legendary drummer he is today. From his earliest memories of copying records on a toy drum kit, to slinging tracks with the likes of John Scofield and Miles Davis, Dennis has a story to tell about everything. Like the music he plays, Dennis shares stories with a rhythm and flow that is music to my ears. You definitely do not want to miss out!

Though Dennis is a self-taught musician, he claims he learned from the best. He was so good, that his drumming appeared on a gospel record when he was just 7. At 13 or 14, James Brown was asking him to play in his band. The names just keep coming! Dennis has jammed with the likes of P Funk, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Stanley Clark, and Carlos Santana. Across the decades, across jazz, funk, soul, and rock and roll, Dennis has become a master chameleon of rhythm and style.

I had the opportunity to hear Dennis perform at Blues Alley with Mike Stern, Tom Kennedy, and Randy Brecker – and to watch him play is unbelievable While seeming completely calm and in control of his craft, Dennis can light up a stadium, like he did, beginning as a teenager, during his Parliament Funkadelic days.. When you get a guy like Dennis talking, expect your mind to melt a little bit. His experiences and memories could fill a book, but for now, we’ll settle with a podcast episode. Listen to hear all of these stories of music and soul unfold.

Episode Highlights:

  • Dennis shares how he remains so very calm in the middle of mind-bending performances.
  • With a Motown singer mom, music was in Dennis’ DNA.
  • Dennis first picked up a stick when he was 3 years old, and got his first drum kit when he was 4.
  • We discuss how Dennis got his professional start at a very young age.
  • Finding your sound is a constantly evolving process.
  • Dennis shares all of his early influences and inspirations.
  • Playing with P Funk gave him incredible exposure.
  • Hear some of Dennis’ favorite bass players to work with – he has worked with some of the greats!
  • What’s new on the horizon for Dennis.

Connect with Dennis

Dennis’ Website

Here are some of my favorite performances by Dennis:

Dennis plays on David Letterman:

Dennis gets FUNKY at Drum Camp:

With Mike Stern, Tom Kennedy, and Randy Brecker:
Dennis’ Drum Solo – This is AMAZING!:


Dennis is Sponsored by the following companies:

 Pearl     |   Zildjian    |    LP percussion    |   Ddrum electronics    |   Evans Drumheads