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Art Rupe Highlights

1917

Art Rupe, founder of Specialty Records, is born in Greenburg, Pennsylvania.

1944

Art Rupe becomes a partner in Atlas Records and starts his own label, Juke Box Records.

1946

Art Rupe dissolves ties with both the Juke Box and Sterling labels and founds Specialty Records.

1947

Art Rupe moves Specialty Records into offices on Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles, where it will remain until the label goes dormant in the Sixties.

1950

Art Rupe’s Specialty Records has its first Number One hits with Joe Liggins’ “Pink Champagne” and Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone to Love.”

1952

Art Rupe signs New Orleans singer Lloyd Price to Specialty Records. His first release, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” is a Number One crossover hit, reaching both black and white audiences.

1953

“The Things That I Used to Do,” by Guitar Slim, becomes a Number One R&B hit for Art Rupe’s Specialty Records.

1955

Having signed with Art Rupe’s Specialty Records, Little Richard scores a #2 R&B hit with “Tutti Frutti” which also crosses over to the pop chart, reaching #17.

1956

Little Richard's biggest hit, "Long Tall Sally," tops the R&B chart for eight weeks and reaches #6 on the pop chart.

1957

Larry Williams’ “Bony Moronie” becomes a #4 hit, helping to pick up the slack at Art Rupe’s Specialty Records after Little Richard quit the music business for religious studies.

1958

Art Rupe’s Specialty Records has its last Top Ten hit with Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly.”

1990

Art Rupe sells the Specialty Records catalog to Fantasy Records.

1994

The Specialty Story, a five-disc box set surveying the history of Art Rupe’s Specialty Records, is released.

2011

Art Rupe is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 26th annual induction dinner in New York. Billy Vera is his presenter.