Early Rock Report Producer Artwork Rupe Lifeless at 104


Artwork Rupe, the founding father of Speciality Data who helped pioneer R&B and early rock music with artists like Little Richard, Sam Cooke and Lloyd Worth, died on Friday on the age of 104.

The Arthur N. Rupe Basis introduced the information in a assertion. No rapid reason for demise was given.

Born Arthur N. Goldberg on Sept. 5, 1917, Rupe grew up in McKeesport, Penn., simply outdoors Pittsburgh. In 1939, he headed to Los Angeles, the place he modified his final identify upon studying “Rupe” was the identify of his paternal grandfather earlier than immigrating to the USA. He labored on a naval engineering crew throughout World Struggle II and then turned his consideration to the file producing enterprise, specializing in music that was then labeled as “race information.”

In 1944, Rupe co-founded Juke Field Data, which was accountable for a regional hit by the Sepia Tones, “Boogie #1.” Two years later in 1946, he based his personal label, Specialty Data.

On a scouting journey to New Orleans in 1952, Rupe crossed paths with a teenage Worth, whom he recorded singing his personal track “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” It featured Fat Domino on piano and subsequently grew to become the top-selling R&B file of the yr. Worth additionally inspired a pal of his, Little Richard, to ship in his personal demos to Speciality, which allowed Richard to purchase himself out of a earlier contract.

Main success would arrive a number of years later within the mid-’50s with the discharge of Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” which was adopted by a number of hit songs together with “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” “Lucille” and “Lengthy Tall Sally,” plus Richard’s 1957 debut LP This is Little Richard, all launched through Specialty.

Hearken to Little Richard’s ‘Tutti Frutti’

Rupe had additionally signed a younger Sam Cooke, then a member of gospel group the Soul Stirrers, which had successful with 1950’s “Jesus Gave Me Water.” However creative disagreements between Rupe and Cooke led the latter to depart the label in 1957, the identical yr he launched his personal solo profession. Cooke secured a smash hit in 1958 with “You Ship Me,” which Rupe admitted many years later he didn’t assume can be as profitable because it was.

“In all candor, I didn’t assume ‘You Ship Me’ was that nice,” Rupe advised the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame in 2011, the identical yr he acquired the Ahmet Ertegun Award and was inducted. “I by no means dreamed it will be a multimillion-seller.”

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

By the early ’60s, Rupe had began to maneuver away from the music enterprise and begun investing in his personal oil and fuel firm. In 1990, he bought Specialty’s catalog to Fantasy Data, and in 1991, he established the Arthur N. Rupe Basis, whose objective is to attain “optimistic social change by shining the sunshine of reality on vital and controversial points” whereas additionally supporting caregivers of individuals with dementia.

Worth praised Rupe’s groundbreaking imaginative and prescient when he inducted him into the Rock Corridor in 2011. “Artwork just lately advised me that the mix we had over 60 years in the past — my explicit expertise and his uncommon intuition of file govt — made that track what it’s,” Worth stated, “the primary rock ‘n’ roll file to dissolve the colour barrier between Black and white audiences.”

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