|Parent company||Concord Bicycle Music|
|Genre||Rock, rhythm and blues, gospel|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
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. 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.
The major producers for the label were Rupe, Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Johnny Vincent and J. W. Alexander. 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, but 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
- Sam Cooke
- John Lee Hooker
- Little Richard
- Guitar Slim
- Roddy Jackson
- Jimmy Liggins
- Joe Liggins
- Roy Milton
- Percy Mayfield
- Lloyd Price
- Frankie Lee Sims
- Soul Stirrers
- Larry Williams
- Lester Williams
- Morris, Chris (25 February 1995). "Indies Through the Ages". Google Books/Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- 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.
- 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.
- Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Back Bay Books. p. 98.
- Goldberg, D.K. "Art Rupe's Specialty Records". www.history-of-rock.com. Retrieved 26 November 2006.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Lester Williams Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
- Official website
- Specialty Records history
- Specialty Records on the Internet Archive's Great 78 Project