Chip Deffaa
April 22, 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

Just how electrifying was Little Richard when he emerged in the ’50s? Listen to this five-CD set, The Specialty Story, which gathers 130 songs recorded by the L.A.-based label Specialty (and its predecessor, Juke Box) between 1944 and ’64. Specialty had other R&B greats, including Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls (both heard here with early gospel groups), and Wynona Carr. Unfortunately, they share space with lightweights like Roddy Jackson, who lower the box’s overall rating.

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