Art Rupe, an early rock and roll music mogul and founder of the influential Specialty Records, died April 15 at his home in Santa Barbara, California. He was 104 years old.
Since its inception in Los Angeles in 1946, Specialty championed such indelible artists as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price and Percy Mayfield. Rupe was also an oil and gas entrepreneur. He dedicated his last decades to the work of his Arthur N. Rupe Foundation in Santa Barbara.
Rupe was born Arthur Goldberg into a Jewish working-class family in Pennsylvania. He grew up outside of the Pittsburgh area.
According to the foundation, Rupe “attended college at Virginia Tech and Miami University of Ohio and made his way to Los Angeles in 1939 to make his mark in the world.” He changed his last name to Rupe after moving west after learning from his grandfather that it was the family name before Goldberg was adopted on Ellis Island.
Rupe’s survivors include a daughter, Beverly Rupe Schwarz; a son-in-law, Leo Schwarz; and a granddaughter, Madeline Kahan.
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https://variety.com/2022/biz/news/art-rupe-dead-104-specialty-records-1235234018/ Art Rupe Dead: The Founder of Specialty Records turned 104