And then there was my favorite album cover of them all. I was not really into the group. In fact, I remember it more as an album my father listened to. But that cover!
The year was 1965 and I was 15. The album was “Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Present Whipped Cream and Other Delights.” I’ve no memory of the Tex-Mex flavored songs on the album, but I certainly remember the album cover. In the center was a doe-eyed, dark-haired woman. She was covered in whipped cream. Well, almost totally covered. Including her hair. She was licking some cream off her fingers. It was very risqué for the time. Needless to say, that album must have sold millions of copies. Every guy I knew had it (thanks, Dad!).
As I prepared myself to suit up for the second coming of vinyl, I dug out my old record albums. There they all were, down in a dark corner of the basement. The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Petula Clark, Little Stevie Wonder, James Brown (Live at the Apollo!), Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, the Fifth Dimension, CSN&Y, Bob Dylan, Dusty Springfield and a bunch of folk albums (I must have really dug Glen Yarbrough and the Limelighters, because I have several of their albums).
And then, there she was.
Squeezed in between The Lovin’ Spoonful and the soundtrack of “The Sound of Music” (sorry, my five sisters made me do it), I found her. The lady in the whipped cream! Still staring back at me from the green cover of Herb Alpert’s best-selling album. Still licking her fingers after nearly 50 years. It was good to see her again.
Things are different now, of course, so I did the only natural thing. I looked her up online. Her name is Delores Erickson, now 78 years old and living in Kelso, Wash. She was just a struggling fashion model when she was picked to be slathered in whipped cream for what some have called “the most famous record album cover of all time.” In a recent interview, she revealed that she was wearing a bikini and her body was really covered in shaving cream. All except that little piece on the end of her finger. That really was whipped cream.