Art Rupe was born on September 5, 1917 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. His father David, who was furniture dealer, played in a band bass. In the local church the young Arthur liked to listen to to the gospel choir. He studied first at Oxford, Ohio, and moved in 1939 to Los Angeles to UCLA. After graduation, he opted for the entertainment industry. After an unsuccessful attempt to enter the film business, Rupe in 1944, including the partner of Bob Scherman Atlas Records. In spite of well-known performers such as contract Nat King Cole, Frankie Laine, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers and Charles Brown Atlas went bankrupt and lost his way investment. Atlas tried as independent label to make on the pop market the major labels competition.
With this experiences, Rupe then analyzed the hit potential of the markets division and decided to move to the rhythm-and - blues business of black music industry, which was largely ignored by the major labels. Boogie # 1 of the sepia tone Rupe started out in 1945 his first own label Juke Box Records and had 70,000 singles sold quickly achieve esteem. He was able to Marion "The Blues Woman" Abernathy, take Roosevelt "The Blues Man" Sykes and Roy Milton under contract. Abernathy Voo -it! Voo -it! Milton and RM Blues were also top sellers. Rupe went with Al Middleman Sterling Records into a partnership, which included mutual shared ownership of the respective labels. Soon Rupe feared but the influence of Eli Oberstein, the talent scout was with Victor Records and the label Middleman Hit Records operation. He sold all of the shares of Juke Box and Sterling and opened with some master tapes with Specialty Records a new company.
Rupe persuaded Roy Milton, to follow him to the new label. This attracted more jump blues singers like Joe Liggins and Joe Lutcher. From 1948 Rupe Gospel Quartet took on what should be a focus of Specialty Records in the future. Rupes interest and passion for the Gospel also influenced the selection and production sekularer artists of popular music whose emotionality was always more important to him than the perfection of recording technology.
Since 1952, the neighboring Imperial Records with Fats Domino in the rhythm and blues of New Orleans great success. Rupe therefore also studied there for talent and discovered in 1952 Lloyd Price, whose Lawdy Miss Clawdy one of the first crossover hits should be in the pop market. Since then Matassas was Cosimo J & M Studio, including his studio band a much booked outpost of Specialty Records. The big commercial breakthrough in both markets finally took place in 1955 with the Rock ' n ' Roll Little Richard. In the 1950s and one of the biggest commercial successes of the label, Guitar Slim The Things That I Used to Do fell, the song remained 42 weeks in the R & B charts.
Against 1960 Rupe lost after a few setbacks, the interest in the music industry: Little Richard had started his religious career, Sam Cooke was changed in a dispute with producer Bumps Blackwell to Keen Records and there was a great success. In addition, Rupes broke marriage. Other lucrative deals Rupe facilitated the decision to transfer the business operations of the specialty to other managers who, however started to focus on the care and reissue the existing catalog. Rupe itself was very successful in the oil and real estate.
Rupe held, however, willing to possibly support Little Richard at a possible comeback attempt. Before the 1964 happened to him the flamboyant rocker had recommended a young British Beat Band for the American market: the decision not to take the Beatles under contract, in addition to the sacking Sam Cooke's second big mistake of his career as a label head has been. The revival of the recording activities of Specialty Records with Bama Lama Bama Loo Little Richard and a few pieces of Percy Mayfield and Don and Dewey had little success and was discontinued after a short time. Rupes daughter took over from then on the management of the Specialty catalog until it was sold in 1990 at Fantasy Records.
Art Rupe founded and has since been pursuing a foundation that "Art Rupe Foundation", which finances a chair for the study of social media influence. In the small Pennsylvania town where he grew up, he donated a library. Despite advanced age, the teetotaler and vegetarian type Rupe remains committed to the civil society sector.
2007 Rupe was recorded with Ahmet Ertegun as " non-performers " in the Blues Hall of Fame. The excellent musicians this year were Dave Bartholomew, Dr. John, Guitar Slim and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. 2011 was followed by the inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.