Early Rock Record Producer Art Rupe Dead at 104

Harmony Cardenas

Art Rupe, the founder of Speciality Data who helped pioneer R&B and early rock tunes with artists like Minor Richard, Sam Cooke and Lloyd Cost, died on Friday at the age of 104.

The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation announced the information in a statement. No fast lead to of death was given.

Born Arthur N. Goldberg on Sept. 5, 1917, Rupe grew up in McKeesport, Penn., just outdoors Pittsburgh. In 1939, he headed to Los Angeles, where by he improved his past name upon mastering “Rupe” was the name of his paternal grandfather in advance of immigrating to the United States. He labored on a naval engineering crew for the duration of Environment War II and then turned his notice to the document making small business, specializing in music that was then classified as “race documents.”

In 1944, Rupe co-founded Juke Box Data, which was dependable for a regional hit by the Sepia Tones, “Boogie #1.” Two many years later on in 1946, he launched his individual label, Specialty Documents.

On a scouting vacation to New Orleans in 1952, Rupe crossed paths with a teenage Value, whom he recorded singing his possess tune “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” It featured Fat Domino on piano and subsequently turned the prime-providing R&B report of the 12 months. Selling price also inspired a pal of his, Very little Richard, to ship in his own demos to Speciality, which permitted Richard to get himself out of a prior contract.

Major achievements would arrive a few yrs later in the mid-’50s with the release of Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” which was followed by several hit tracks like “Very good Golly, Skip Molly,” “Lucille” and “Long Tall Sally,” additionally Richard’s 1957 debut LP Here is Minor Richard, all introduced via Specialty.

Hear to Very little Richard’s ‘Tutti Frutti’

Rupe experienced also signed a younger Sam Cooke, then a member of gospel team the Soul Stirrers, which experienced a hit with 1950’s “Jesus Gave Me Water.” But artistic disagreements concerning Rupe and Cooke led the latter to depart the label in 1957, the very same yr he introduced his own solo job. Cooke secured a smash strike in 1958 with “You Mail Me,” which Rupe admitted decades later he did not think would be as prosperous as it was.

“In all candor, I did not consider ‘You Send Me’ was that terrific,” Rupe explained to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, the similar yr he received the Ahmet Ertegun Award and was inducted. “I never ever dreamed it would be a multimillion-seller.”

Hear to the Soul Stirrers’ ‘Jesus Gave Me Water’

By the early ’60s, Rupe experienced started off to transfer away from the music organization and begun investing in his possess oil and fuel corporation. In 1990, he marketed Specialty’s catalog to Fantasy Data, and in 1991, he set up the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, whose goal is to realize “good social improve by shining the light of fact on essential and controversial difficulties” while also supporting caregivers of folks with dementia.

Value praised Rupe’s groundbreaking vision when he inducted him into the Rock Corridor in 2011. “Art just lately instructed me that the combination we experienced more than 60 a long time back — my individual expertise and his rare intuition of history executive — manufactured that song what it is,” Selling price explained, “the initially rock ‘n’ roll record to dissolve the color barrier among Black and white audiences.”

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