Arthur Newton Rupe, an American music executive and record producer, died at 104 years, peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in Santa Barbara, California. The Arthur N Rupe Foundation confirms his death news. However, the foundation did not release his cause of death.
Who was Rupe Art ? and what was the cause of his death?
Rupe was born on September 5, 1917 to a Jewish family in the Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania. His family migrated from Galicia, and he worked as a factory worker. He was named Arthur Goldberg. He was raised in the suburb of McKeesport.
After completing school, he went to attend Miami University and California University for his further studies.
Leonard Chess, a Pennsylvania native white businessmen producer, helped Art Rupe to bring Black music to a general audience.
He founded Specialty Records, known for its rhythm and blues, blues, gospel, and early rock and roll music recordings, in Los Angeles in 1946. He offered early breaks to such artists as Cooke and his gospel group the Soul Stirrers, Little Richard, Lloyd Price, John Lee Hooker, and Clifton Chenier.
“Specialty Records’ growth paralleled, and perhaps defined, the evolution of Black popular music, from the ‘race’ music of the 1940s to the rock’n’roll of the 1950s,”
In the year 2011, Rupe was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . In a 2011 interview, he described that Richard learned of Specialty through Price. He sent demos for months to everyone who was interested in listening. He finally demanded to speak to Rupe, who dug out his tape from the reject pile.
“There was something in Little Richard’s voice I liked,” Rupe said. “I don’t know – it was so exaggerated, so over emotional. And I said: ‘Let’s give this guy a chance and maybe we can get him to sing like BB King.’”
Tutti Frutti, released in September 1955, was one of rock’n’roll’s first big singles, featuring lyrics like “Tutti Frutti/good booty.”
Richard’s performance improved when he played himself on the piano, according to Rupe.
“Up that up to that point Bumps (producer Robert “Bumps” Blackwell) was having Little Richard just be a vocalist,” Rupe said. “The neck bone connected to the knee bone or something; his voice and his playing sort of gave it a lift.”
“models of singing and musicianship that have inspired rock musicians ever since.”
It is with great sadness I report the passing at 6:30 this morning of my friend and one of the great men I’ve known, Art Rupe, founder of Specialty Records and who discovered Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price and other great artists. RIP my friend. pic.twitter.com/fVDPHx06It
— Billy Vera (@billybeater) April 15, 2022
In 2007, Rupe was nominated for the Blues Hall of Fame. In addition, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoured him, together with former Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman with the Ahmet Ertegun Award in 2011. Rupe “brought R&B and soul into the mainstream and launched Little Richard’s career. In addition, Rupe’s fastidious work ethic and uncanny musical intuition shaped the evolution of rock.”
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