In 1962 a trumpet player in Los Angeles wanted to record a song he wrote. He didn’t have much money so he convinced some of the top studio cats to record the song for $15 each. The trumpet player’s name was Herb Alpert and the song was “The Lonely Bull.” The trumpet solo became a top 10 hit in the fall of 1962 and made Alpert an instant millionaire.
He then went to the musician’s union and paid a fine for recording without a union contract and then paid the musicians their fair share earning him high respect among the musicians and technicians involved. They then recorded the rest of the album and many more over the next several years as “Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.” In 1964, Alpert formed another band to tour under that name.
The success of the TJB project allowed him to form A&M Records with Jerry Moss. A&M went on to become the largest independent record label in the United States, signing dozens of top stars with dozens of hit records before they sold the company in 1989. Herb Alpert and his wife of 44 years, Lani Hall, are now major supporters of the arts and environmental issues through the Herb Alpert Foundation.
I like this story because it reminds me that having high integrity and doing the right thing always wins in the end. Always having the highest integrity and doing the right thing by our customers and employees was the goal when we formed Mathis Photo, Inc. in 1973, Homer’s Coffee House in 2001, and Mathis Photography in 2008.
There has always been a wide range of people from scam artists to people with very high integrity in all kinds and sizes of businesses. Always try to do business with the best people. It is not hard to tell which is which if you pay attention.