PIONEERING RECORD EXECUTIVE DEAD AT 104

Apr 17, 2022

By Steve Kee

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A pioneering record executive who helped launch the careers of Little Richard and Sam Cooke has died.

Art Rupe died Friday at his Santa Barbara, California, home at the age of 104.

Rupe was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

The Greensburg, Pennsylvania, native was a contemporary of Jerry Wexler, Leonard Chess and other businessmen-producers who helped bring Black music to a general audience.

He founded Specialty Records in Los Angeles in 1946 and worked on such early rock classics as Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” and Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.”

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