Dolores Erickson on Whipped Cream and Other Delights
If an album cover ever helped to sell mega amounts of copies, this was it. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, certainly benefited from the album design of A&M art director Peter Whorf, and model, Dolores Erickson, gracing the cover of Whipped Cream and Other Delights.
The iconic album cover, which is best appreciated in its full 12″ x 12″ vinyl incarnation, can still be found for sale at many thrift shops, flea markets and garage sales for a couple of dollars.
The album released in 1965, went to #1 on the Billboard pop music charts and ended up selling over six million copies over the years.
Was it based on the music? While it is a good album of instrumentals, I am positive that the provocative cover had a lot to do with its popularity.
Modeling for The Ford Agency, Dolores Erickson was married and 28-years-old at the time. She had known Peter Whorf from working with him previously on other album covers and he was engaged to Erickson’s best friend. When she got the call from Whorf to do the album cover, she came to his garage which had been converted to a photography studio and the cover was shot in one day.
Although Erickson appears not to be wearing anything, she had been wrapped in cotton and had on a bikini underneath all the “cream.”
She was also three months pregnant at the time.
Photographer and cover designer Whorf did a masterful job at hiding Erickson’s pregnancy. One problem: they could not use whipped cream because it kept sliding off. The solution? Shaving cream which adhered better to Erickson’s body. The only bit of whipped cream is on her head and fingers.
The outtakes for the album were given to Erickson and she still has them. When she received them in 1965 she was shocked at how much it revealed. By today’s standards they are still rather modest. Here are two of them.
The cover did not make a celebrity out of Erickson and she was rarely recognized in public as the “Whipped Cream” girl. It wasn’t until many years later that people began asking her to autograph the album cover.
Erickson, a Washington native, retired from modeling and went on to become an artist and sometimes appears at record and collectibles shows.
The talented Peter Whorf who designed this and scores of other album covers passed away at the age of 64 on November 11, 1995 in Los Angeles, CA.
Herb Alpert, the musician who founded A&M records can partially thank the album cover for spurring huge sales of his albums and dominating the music charts in the mid-1960’s. For instance, for the week of June 22, 1966 Cash Box Magazine, which measured album sales, noted that Herb Albert had three of the top four selling albums in the country, outselling the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones.
As Herb Alpert said, people still come up to him today and say how they really liked the album Whipped Cream and really, really liked the cover!
Click below to listen to two of the better known songs from Whipped Cream and Other Delights.