Specialty Records was an American record label based in Los Angeles. It was originally launched as Juke Box Records in 1946, but later renamed by its owner Art Rupe when he parted company with a couple of his original partners. Specialty is noted for the rhythm and blues, blues, gospel and early rock and roll music recorded by the label. The major producers for the label were Rupe, Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Johnny Vincent and J. W. Alexander.
Art Rupe was known for being 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 the payola environment at the time, although by 1953, "the only way for Specialty to remain competitive was to pay like everybody else."
- Alex Bradford
- Wynona Carr
- Clifton Chenier
- Eugene Church
- Dorothy Love Coates (with the Gospel Harmonettes)
- Sam Cooke (with the Soul Stirrers and a couple of pop singles before his major stardom)
- John Lee Hooker
- Little Richard - "Tutti Frutti"
- Guitar Slim - "The Things That I Used to Do"
- Roddy Jackson (one of the few white rock and rollers Specialty signed)
- Jimmy Liggins
- Joe Liggins
- Roy Milton
- Percy Mayfield
- Lloyd Price - "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
- Frankie Lee Sims
- Soul Stirrers
- Larry Williams
- Lester Williams
- Gillett, Charlie (1996). The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll ((2nd Ed.) ed.). New York, N.Y.: Da Capo Press. p. 86. ISBN 0-306-80683-5.
- Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Back Bay Books. p. 98.
- "Art Rupe's Specialty Records". Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- Jason Ankeny. "Lester Williams". Allmusic. Retrieved November 17, 2011.