Of all the independent record labels to start up at the end of World War II, Art Rupe’s Hollywood-based Specialty Records has one of the most glorious histories. The label’s biggest star, Little Richard, is synonymous with the roots of rock ’n’ roll. Other icons of the era who began their careers on Specialty are Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price, and a pre-Neville Brothers Art Neville. Soul-era stars who got their starts as gospel artists on Specialty include Lou Rawls (with the Chosen Gospel Singers) and Johnnie Taylor, who replaced Sam Cooke in the Soul Stirrers. In the 1940s, Rupe recorded acts which bridged the gap between swing and rock ’n’ roll, beginning with his jump blues practitioners, Roy Milton, Joe Liggins, and Joe’s brother Jimmy Liggins. By midcentury, Specialty was churning out hit after hit by these, as well as boogie-woogie stylist Camille Howard and that master lyricist of the blues, Percy Mayfield. As teenagers discovered rhythm and blues in the early Fifties, Specialty was right there with Marvin & Johnny, Jesse Belvin, and Lloyd Price, whose “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” was the top R&B record of 1952 and one of the first to cross over to white record buyers. This 5-CD boxed set contains 130 tracks—all of Specialty’s hits, as well as important songs and artists, in order of release. The booklet contains previously unpublished photos, rare posters and other promotional items, full session information, and extensive notes by Specialty Records historian and box producer Billy Vera.