Tuesday, March 11, 2014


You know how it is (or was). If you scour thrift stores, garage sales, 99 cent bins, and record swaps long enough, you develop an obsession with certain labels. Particularly labels with a high keeper quotient. You get a glimpse of a yellow gold label with rays emanating from the center? "Sun!" Snapping finger on a yellow background?, "Stax!", light blue with a stack of records? "Early Stax!" Blue with silver? "Chess!" And so on. Obviously, it's not nearly as fruitful these days, digging through picked over stacks, with everybody and their mothers selling them on the secondary market. No one keeps anything, The prices are driven up to the point that no average Joe can afford a decent collection. It's that flipper disease, just like house flippers. Who cares if it kills the little guy's chance to buy a home (or a record), it's everyman for themselves.

Anyway, back to these 45 labels. Despite the fact that I rarely see the physical vintage product, outside of the few that I have, I still have that same reaction. One of the biggees for me is seeing the unmistakeable yellow, black and white logo with the classic hand lettered "Specialty" across the top. That's one of the handful of labels that's never let me down. So when I saw it splashed across On The Record's recent post, it had me going on a Specialty binge.

Here's some top shelf Specialty sides. You may also want to check out the all-Specialty mix from Diddy Wah, (streaming or download). To the cooler than ice twelve year old Norwegian kid who just presented their Power Point take on Moondog to the English class today (read the first comment below this post), you are cooler than ice, as I said. Being so, you may one day wish to read this lengthy piece on Specialty Records. By all means, stay away from that death metal stuff.

Don & Dewey - Justine mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Don & Dewey - Farmer John mp3 at Rock Town Hall
Larry Williams - Slow Down mp3
at Mercury Paradise

Larry Williams - She Said Yeah mp3 at Beware of the Blog 
Larry Williams - Dizzy Miss Lizzie mp3 at Joe Troiano's Blog 
Little Richard - Keep A Knockin' mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Little Richard - Rip It Up (Rehearsal Take 14) mp3 at Electric Adolescence
Lloyd Price - Lawdy Miss Clawdy mp3 at Jordan Hatch
Ben Hughes - Sack mp3 (via DivShare) at On the Record
The mix:
Specialty Records Radio Show Special at Diddy Wah Streaming and download. About SoundCloud: If the embedded streaming widget has a visible downward pointing arrow on the right side of the bar (in this case it does) downloading is enabled. Click on the arrow.
Art Rupe's Specialty Records at History of Rock
Specialty Records at Wikipedia

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