Waylon Jenning's songwriting partner Don Bowman was a friend of Jerry Moss. Bowman brought Moss a demo tape with Waylon doing the vocal. Jennings signed a contract for a single with A&M Records on July 9, 1963 and to a three-year contract on April 16, 1964 with 5% U.S. and 2.5% foreign royalties. He also had a music publishing deal with A&M's Irving Music.
"We were the first to sign Waylon Jennings, back in 1964," Alpert said.
"I produced his first few albums. Chet Atkins heard (Waylon's A&M recording of) 'Four Strong Winds,' which I produced, and he talked to Waylon, which he shouldn't have done, since Waylon was under contract to us. Jerry and I both felt it would be in Waylon's best interest to go with Chet, who was a godfather of modern country music. Waylon had three years left on his (A&M) contract, and I said to Jerry: 'This guy will be a big artist.' And Jerry said: 'I know.'"
Don Bowman gave the probable reason why A&M let Waylon go: Alpert and Moss did not have a national distribution system in 1964 and this was their first attempt with the country music market that did not operate like the popular music market.
The single of "Four Strong Winds," released in August 1964, was picked up by radio but did not sell well although it became Waylon's signature song. "Winds" was followed by "Sing the Girls a Song, Bill" on October 24, 1964.
Official autobiography: Waylon: An Autobiography
No Bull: Herb Alpert Here Friday, Nov. 18. George Barga. San Diego Union. November 11, 2011.