Chip Deffaa
July 15, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Specialty Story

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Lou Rawls, Various Artists
Producers
Fantasy, Specialty
genre
Reissues

We gave it a B

How jolting was Little Richard when he emerged in the ’50s? Just listen to him in the context of this five-CD set, The Specialty Story, recorded for the L.A.-based Specialty Records (and its predecessor, Juke Box) between 1944 and 1964. Richard was Specialty’s most dynamic star, but the label had other R&B greats, including Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls (both heard here on gospel rarities), Percy Mayfield, and Wynona Carr. Unfortunately, lightweights like Roddy Jackson (”There’s a Moose on the Loose”) and Bob Landers lower the box’s overall rating. B

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