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Art Rupe, pioneering record executive, deceased at 104

Art Rupe, pioneering record executive, deceased at 104

NEW YORK (AP) — Music administrative Art Rupe, whose Specialty Records was a premier label throughout the formative years of go to and fro 'n roll with every one other accompanied by helped launch the careers of Little Richard, Sam Cooke with every one other accompanied by numerous others, has died. He was 104.

Rupe, who was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame inside 2011, died Friday at his place of residence inside Santa Barbara, California, according to the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation. The footing did not release his source of death.

The Greensburg, Pennsylvania, native was a contemporaneous of Jerry Wexler, Leonard Chess with every one other accompanied by other white businessmen-producers who helped convey Black music to a general audience. He founded Specialty inside Los Angeles inside 1946 with every one other accompanied by gave early breaks to such artists while Cooke with every one other accompanied by his gospel category the Soul Stirrers, Little Richard, Lloyd Price, John Lee Hooker with every one other accompanied by Clifton Chenier.

"Specialty Records' grow paralleled, with every one other accompanied by maybe defined, the evolution of Black well liked music, from the 'race' music of the 1940s to the go to and fro n' roll of the 1950s," music historian Billy Vera wrote inside the liner notes to "The Specialty Story," a five-CD place that came not here inside 1994.

Rupe's most lucrative with every one other accompanied by momentous signing was Little Richard, a rhythm 'n blues with every one other accompanied by gospel performer since his teens who had struggled to shatter into and not here of commercially. In a 2011 meeting for the Rock Hall archives, Rupe explained that Little Richard (the professional name for the late Macon, Georgia, native Richard Penniman) had learned of Specialty into and not here of Price, sent a demo with every one other accompanied by for months called trying to find not here if anyone had listened. He eventually demanded to speak to Rupe, who dug not here his band from the reject pile.

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"There was something inside Little Richard's power of speech I liked," Rupe said. "I don't know — it was so exaggerated, so over emotional. And I said, 'Let's present with this guy a chance with every one other accompanied by maybe we tin obtain him to chant exist fond of B.B. King.'"

Initial recording sessions were uninspiring, nevertheless throughout a lunch shatter at a nearby inn Little Richard sat down at a piano with every one other accompanied by pounded not here a air he had performed throughout club dates: "Tutti Frutti," accompanied by its immortal opening shout, "A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-wop-bam-boom!"

Released inside September 1955 with every one other accompanied by one of go to and fro n' roll's earliest greatest hits, "Tutti Frutti" was a manic, nevertheless cleaner report of the raunchy original, which featured such rhymes while "Tutti Frutti/good booty." Rupe noted that Little Richard's show was transformed when he accompanied himself on piano.

"Up that up to that point Bumps (producer Robert "Bumps" Blackwell) was having Little Richard fair exist a vocalist," Rupe said. "The nape bone connected to the knee bone or something; his power of speech with every one other accompanied by his playing type of gave it a lift."

Critic Langdon Winner would liken Little Richard's Specialty recordings to Elvis Presley's Sun Records sessions while "models of singing with every one other accompanied by musicianship that have inspired go to and fro musicians at some time since."

Little Richard's other hits accompanied by Specialty included such go to and fro classics while "Long Tall Sally," "Good Golly Miss Molly" with every one other accompanied by "Rip it Up" earlier to he abruptly (and temporarily) former inside 1957. Specialty too was place of residence to Price's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" (with Fats Domino on piano); Don with every one other accompanied by Dewey's "Farmer John"; Larry Williams' "Dizzy Miss Lizzy," which the Beatles subsequent covered; with every one other accompanied by music by such leading gospel acts while Dorothy Love Coates, the Swan Silvertones with every one other accompanied by the Pilgrim Travelers.

Rupe was known for how little he paid his artists with every one other accompanied by engaged inside an exploitative practice ordinary among label owners inside the early go to and fro era: Having performers sign contracts leaving him accompanied by a a large amount of or all of the royalties with every one other accompanied by publishing rights. Little Richard would sue him inside 1959 for spine royalties with every one other accompanied by settled not here of court of rules and regulations for $11,000.

Around the same time, Rupe grew increasingly frustrated accompanied by the "payola" system of bribing broadcasters to obtain records played with every one other accompanied by distanced himself from the music business. He sold Specialty to Fantasy Records inside the early 1990s, nevertheless continued to be paid money into and not here of lubricant with every one other accompanied by gasoline investments. In recent years, he headed the Art N. Rupe Foundation, which supported education with every one other accompanied by research to shine "the illumination of truth on critical with every one other accompanied by contentious issues."

Rupe's survivors include his daughter, Beverly Rupe Schwarz, with every one other accompanied by granddaughter Madeline Kahan.

He was born Arthur Goldberg, a Jewish works worker's son whose passion for Black music began into and not here of hearing the singers at a nearby Baptist church. He studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, briefly considered a career inside movies with every one other accompanied by decided on music instead, schooling himself by purchasing "race records" with every one other accompanied by listening accompanied by a metronome with every one other accompanied by stopwatch. He co-founded Juke Box Records inside the mid-1940s, nevertheless in a short time left-hand to begin Specialty. He too changed his last name to Rupe, the family's ancestral name.

Rupe's discerning taste made him a success, nevertheless did cost him at least one greatest hit. In the mid-1950s, Cooke was worried to expand his appeal on the far side of gospel with every one other accompanied by recorded some go bang songs at Specialty, including a ballad that became a standard, "You Send Me." Rupe found the air bland with every one other accompanied by was appalled by its white backup singers. He permit Cooke with every one other accompanied by Blackwell, who had become Cooke's manager, buy the copyright with every one other accompanied by release "You Send Me" into and not here of RCA.

"I did not believe 'You Send Me' was that great. I knew it would have a sure intrinsic price since Sam was good. I never dreamed it would exist multimillion seller," said Rupe, who added, sarcastically, "A wonderful blow of genius on my part."

Art Rupe, pioneering record executive, deceased at 104

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