A&M RECORDS, INC.
1416 N. LaBrea, Hollywood, CA
A&M RECORDS LOT HISTORY
Charlie Chaplin bought a five acre property at the corner of Sunset and LaBrea Avenues where he opened the Charlie Chaplin Movie Studio in 1917. The stucco facades on La Brea Avenue, pictured above, were built in 1919. The facades north of the gate were a guest house and riding stables, and south of the gate Chaplin built his home.
In the 1950s, the television series "Superman" was filmed on the soundstages. In 1958, comedian Red Skelton purchased the property and used it for his weekly television show. In 1962, Skelton sold the facility to CBS and it became the home of the "Perry Mason" series.
In November 1966, Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss and their 32 employees moved onto the lot and made it A&M Records headquarters for the next 33 years. A&M inherited one large soundstage and two smaller ones that had been significantly upgraded by Skelton and CBS. A&M converted the two smaller soundstages into the A&M Studios.
As you look at A&M Records front gate, you see the corner of the Chaplin home under the A&M sign. The large brick building inside the gate became A&M Studios. The photo of the Executive Offices shows the exterior of Chaplin's home.
In Charlie Chaplin's day, Dave Alpert's Building served as the studio infirmary. A&M Records' Artist Development occupied the film cutting room for the "Perry Mason" television program, and A&M's Publicity Department was actress Barbara Hale's dressing room when she worked on "Perry Mason."
The Charlie Chaplin Soundstage carried on its legacy as a home for major film, television, video and music events under A&M Records. All of the Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass television specials were partially filmed on the soundstage. The carpenters with the 105-piece Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra recorded "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" on the soundstage before an audience of music journalists. The soundstage was also used for recording rehearsals and tour rehearsals, including the tour for Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela recorded a concert on the soundstage that was simulcast on radio in Los Angeles.
Long before music videos rose to popularity in the 1980s, A&M artists were filmed on the soundstage for promotional films. Artists who filmed videos on the soundstage include Janet Jackson and The Police. The soundstage was also used for artist showcases, listening parties, promotional functions, A&M sales meetings, and A&M Christmas parties.