David Anderle, the A&R executive who worked with Frank Zappa, the Beach Boys, Sheryl Crow and Aaron Neville during a 35-year career, died Monday of cancer at his Los Angeles home. He was 77.
A classmate of Herb Alpert and Lou Adler at Fairfax High School, Anderle served his longest stint at Alpert and Jerry Moss‘ A&M Records, where he worked with Rita Coolidge, Blues Traveler, Chris De Burgh, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Amy Grant and others. Anderle retired in 1999 when he was A&M senior VP of A&R.
Anderle’s first job in music was at Auto Stereo, where he worked to get labels to transfer their catalogs to 8-track tapes. In 1964, he became West Coast talent director at MGM, which owned Verve Records at the time. After seeing Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in 1965, Anderle pushed to get the act signed to the label, but met considerable resistance within Verve. Anderle convinced Tom Wilson to sign the Mothers and produce their album.
As the manager of Van Dyke Parks, Anderle became ensconced in Brian Wilson’s world in 1966 at the time of Pet Sounds and helped the Beach Boys create their own record label, Brothers Records, which he ran in its early days.
In 1968, he moved to Elektra as West Coast operations director, where he produced David Ackles, worked with Judy Collins on her repertoire, and dealt with the label’s rock acts such as the Doors and Love.
Two years later, he formed Willow Productions to bring acts to A&M, the company he would stay with until he retired to dedicate himself to painting. As a producer, Anderle worked with a diverse collection of artists, among them Kris Kristofferson, Booker T. Jones, the Circle Jerks, the Swimming Pool Q’s and Delaney & Bonnie.
While at A&M he became VP of Film Music in 1984 and worked as a music supervisor on the films Good Morning, Vietnam, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Scrooged.