Specialty Records
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Specialty Records
Specialty Records
Parent companyConcord Bicycle Music
Founded1945 (1945)
FounderArt Rupe
GenreRock, rhythm and blues, gospel
Country of originU.S.
LocationLos Angeles, California
Official websitewww.concordmusicgroup.com/labels/Specialty

Specialty Records was an American record label founded in Los Angeles in 1945 by Art Rupe. It was known for rhythm and blues, gospel, and early rock and roll, having recorded Little Richard, Guitar Slim, Percy Mayfield, and Lloyd Price.[1] Rupe started the company under the name Juke Box Records but changed it to Specialty when he parted company with a couple of his original partners.

Rupe's daughter restarted the label in the 1980s.[1]

The major producers for the label were Rupe, Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Johnny Vincent and J. W. Alexander.[2] Rupe was known as one of the most honest owners of an independent R&B record company in the 1950s.[] He was known for paying his artists, recording them well, and allowing some of the wildest R&B to be issued on any label of the day.[] He was also known for hating payola,[3] but by 1953, "the only way for Specialty to remain competitive was to pay like everybody else."[4]

Specialty also owned music publishing companies, Venice Music for BMI-licensed songs and Greenwich Music for ASCAP licensed-songs.[5]

The record label was sold to Fantasy Records in 1991 and is now part of the Concord Music Group. The music publishing unit was sold to Sony/ATV Music Publishing.


See also


  1. ^ a b Morris, Chris (25 February 1995). "Indies Through the Ages". Google Books/Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Gillett, Charlie (1996). The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll (2nd ed.). New York: Da Capo Press. p. 86. ISBN 0-306-80683-5.
  3. ^ Broven, John (2010). Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers (1st Illinois pbk. ed.). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. pp. 305-308. ISBN 978-0-252-07727-2.
  4. ^ Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Back Bay Books. p. 98.
  5. ^ Goldberg, D.K. "Art Rupe's Specialty Records". www.history-of-rock.com. Retrieved 2006.
  6. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Lester Williams Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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