Dolores Erickson


HER SWINGIN' '60s CREDENTIALS: Dolores was the remarkably alluring foam-covered model on the memorable cover of Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.




BIRTH: She was born in '37, putting her in her mid-twenties for the album cover. Her exotic birthplace: Seattle, Washington.


IMPACT: Hers is one of the most-recognizable and most-imitated images of the '60s. In fact this particular Herb Alpert album became their biggest hit to date. The Whipped Cream album, Herb and the TJ Brass's fourth, launched them to international stardom in '65, yielding the hit song "A Taste of Honey." Whipped Cream was so popular (it sold over 500,000 copies and was in the top ten on the album charts for 61 weeks) that the previously released TJ Brass albums reappeared on the charts and became best-sellers, as did the next album, Going Places. Which meant that in '66 Herb had five albums in the top twenty simultaneously. The first six TJ Brass albums sold a total of eleven million copies, and for the '60s the group ranks fourth in number of albums sold, behind only the Beatles, Elvis, and Frank. As for this particular album cover, it inspired numerous other album and advertising designs that copied its avocado background and stylized fonts.


CAREER IN THE '60s: In the early '60s Dolores, who was a model with no acting experience, was signed by Paramount to a two-year contract. She had bit parts on TV shows, then after that contract ran out she signed with Warner Bros. Engaged at the time, she left for Mexico in '63 when the engagement broke off. A year later she went to New York, signed with the prominent Ford Agency, and started landing top modeling gigs. In '65 Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss (the A and M of A & M Records) flew her to L.A. for one day, just for the Whipped Cream album cover shoot. She returned to New York and continued her modeling career for a few more years and even, she's suggested, a few more album covers, though we can't find 'em.


CAREER OUTSIDE THE '60s: She started modeling part-time in Seattle when she was only fifteen. In the '50s she also won beauty pageants and was voted "Miss Longshoreman" in Seattle. "It's funny now, but it was a big deal then," she told the Seattle Times, "it was for Seafair, and I got to be in the parade and the whole works." She enrolled at the University of Washington, but at nineteen she moved to San Francisco to model for Macy's for $600 a week. "Parts of me were in the paper every day," she told the Times. "Sometimes it was just my hands, but some part of my body was in an ad." After the '60s, Dolores ran her own art studio in Washington for ten years. She's now a painter living in Kelso, Washington.


TALENT: Her modeling skills kept her working from '64 right through the decade.


HER '60s LOOK: Dolores had an amazingly seductive face, loaded with glamorous makeup, glowing with a tan, framed by a wrangly 'do. She has to be one of the prettiest of all the Swingin' Chicks of the '60s. And what a true professional, able to turned whipped cream -- actually shaving cream and a white blanket -- into one of the great outfits of the decade (the only whipped cream in the photo is what's on top of her head). Not many other swingin' models would dare to wear only foam in their photo shoots. Only the wonderful gold paint worn by Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger could match this great, creative costume. But the camouflage was necessary: Dolores was three months pregnant, and starting to show, at the time of the Whipped Cream photo shoot.


LIFESTYLE: "I've started my life over so many times," Erickson told the Seattle Times. "It isn't easy to have new beginnings, new challenges, but we all do it." She was engaged early in the decade, but that broke off and she was Mexico-bound for a year. When she was modeling in New York, she was married. In the '70s she was a divorced mother of a son (Brett) living in California. In '79 she returned to Washington, went back to college, studied art, and married an attorney.


EXTRAS: "As a model," Erickson told the Times, "you're making everyone else's dreams come true, you're fulfilling their fantasies. My life is no longer celluloid. I'm making the pictures now" ... the current photo of Dolores is by Pedro Perez of the Seattle Times ... one of the other memorable Herb Alpert album covers of the '60s was Going Places, which featured Herb in the cockpit of a biplane while being served cocktails by a leggy girl sitting on the wing ... that model was Sandra Moss, wife of Jerry Moss, the M in A & M Records.


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