Specialty Records

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Specialty single

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.[1]

Art Rupe was known for being one of the most honest owners of an independent R&B record company in the 1950s.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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."[2]

Specialty also had two music publishing companies, Venice Music for BMI licensed songs and Greenwich Music for ASCAP licensed songs.[3]

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[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Back Bay Books. p. 98. 
  3. ^ "Art Rupe's Specialty Records". Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  4. ^ Jason Ankeny. "Lester Williams". Allmusic. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 

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