Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #24 – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Jukebox EP: Whipped Cream & Other Delights “A Taste Of Honey,” “Green Peppers,” “Whipped Cream” b/w “Bittersweet Samba,” “Lollipops And Roses,” “El Garbanzo” – A&M 33 1/3 RPM Jukebox EP SP 410 (G3/H3)
“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.
Jukebox EPs (or extended plays, or tiny albums) were made for the jukebox market during the 1950s through the mid-1970s. They were small-holed 7” records that played at 33 1/3 RPM and cost 25-50 cents per play. They typically included four to six tracks from an album and afforded the listener at a diner or bar an extended taste of a record by their favorite artist.
Today’s jukebox EP is culled from a record with the most iconic album cover of all time, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’ classic Whipped Cream & Other Delights featuring half of the album’s twelve tracks.
Before forming the Tijuana Brass and a record company (A&M) that still lives today, Herb Alpert was best known for co-writing Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” and producing tracks for Jan & Dean. All that changed in 1962 when he recorded the single “The Lonely Bull” in his garage and gave birth to one of the biggest recording acts of the 1960s rivaling The Beatles.
The first few Tijuana Brass albums were recorded with a cadre of Los Angeles studio musicians. For the group’s fourth album, Whipped Cream & Other Delights, Alpert recruited future Tijuana Brass members John Pisano (guitar) and Bob Edmondson (trombone) and augmented them with Wrecking Crew members Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Chuck Berghofer, and Russell Bridges (aka Leon Russell). Once the album took off, Alpert solidified the TJB lineup by adding Nick Ceroli (drums), Pat Senatore (bass), Tonni Kalash (trumpet), Lou Pagani (piano), and Julius Wechter who played marimba and vibes only on studio recordings.
The food-themed Whipped Cream album, featuring such tasty tunes as “Tangerine,” “Butterball,” “Peanuts” and “Love Potion No. 9,” topped the charts and sold over 6 million copies in the United States. It also won five Grammy Awards, three for the single, “A Taste of Honey” which is the lead track on today’s EP. Sol Lake, who contributed numerous original songs to the TJB repertoire, wrote “Green Peppers,’ “Bittersweet Samba” and “El Garbanzo” for the album. The other track on this EP is “Lollipops And Roses.”
“Whipped Cream,” the album’s title track, is an Allen Toussaint-penned creation (under the pseudonym Naomi Neville) that was heard regularly on the TV game show, The Dating Game, as bachelorettes were being introduced to the audience. Three other songs from the album, “Lollipops And Roses,” “Lemon Tree” and “Ladyfingers” were also used on the show as musical cues, as well as “Spanish Flea” from the TJB’s follow-up album, Going Places!.
“A Taste Of Honey” was written by Bobby Scott and Rick Marlow for the 1960 Broadway musical of the same name. The song was originally recorded as an instrumental by Bobby Scott. The lyrics were specifically written by Marlow so Tony Bennett could record it. Lenny Welch recorded a vocal version of the song in 1962 that was heard by The Beatles who adapted it for their own recording on the Please Please Me album in 1963. The song was also a part of The Beatles’ live repertoire, and can be heard on 1962 recordings from The Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany.
The oft-covered song was also committed to vinyl by Barbra Streisand, Julie London, Tony Bennett, Chet Baker, Trini Lopez, Martin Denny, Acker Bilk, Chat Atkins, Bobby Darin, The Hollies, Tom Jones, Allan Sherman (as “A Waste Of Money”), Andy Williams, Lionel Hampton, The Ventures, Peggy Lee, The Temptations and The Rascals, to name but a few of the hundreds of versions of the song that exist.
And then there’s the album and EP cover…the most iconic in all of recorded music…the cover that launched millions of young adolescent boys sex lives!
The model on the cover, Dolores Erickson, was three months pregnant when the photo was taken! It was parodied by such artists as Pat Cooper (Spaghetti Sauce & Other Delights), Soul Asylum (Clam Dip & Other Delights), Cherry Capri and the Martini Kings (Creamy Cocktails & Other Delights), The Frivolous Five (Sour Cream & Other Delights), plus on Herb Alpert tribute albums by Peter Nero and Dave Lewis.
Thanks to my buddy Kent Rayhill (of Ohana Films), I am the proud owner of not one…not two…but 151 copies of this record…can you really ever get enough Whipped Cream & Other Delights?
Several years ago, I went to see Herb Alpert perform with his wife Lani Hall (of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66) perform at a club. These days, Alpert covers his entire Tijuana Brass era by performing a cursory medley of their hits. The format of the show included questions and answers from the audience between songs. At the show I attended, I remarked from the audience that I have 151 copies of Whipped Cream on vinyl. Herb was somewhat taken aback by this random fact and went on to tell the story of the album cover image.
After the show, I met Alpert backstage and had him sign a sealed copy of the album for me. He asked me why I had so many copies of the album and if they were worth anything. I told him that musically, they were priceless, but since he sold millions of copies of the album back in the 1960s, they are plentiful and sell for about 25 cents each. He took it all in stride.
The following night, he performed another show in the Chicago area of which a few of my friends were in attendance. When an audience member inquired about the Whipped Cream album, he remarked that he met a guy the previous night that owns 151 copies of the album. I guess I made an impression on him (however nutty an impression that may have been).