Passport Records was a U.S.-based independent record label that existed between 1973 and 1988. It was notable for popularizing such artists as Larry Fast, FM and Wendy O. Williams. It was distributed by Jem Records in the United States and by GRT Records in Canada.
Passport Records was founded in 1973 by Jem Records, which had been co-founded in 1971 by Martin L. Scott, Jeff Tenenbaum and Ed Grossi. Jem Records initially operated Passport Records in partnership with Sire Records. The partnership between Jem Records and Sire Records ended in 1977, when Sire Records owner Seymour Stein sold Sire Records to Warner Bros. Records.
Larry Fast was the American first artist signed to the label. His records were primarily released under the name of Synergy. Other artists on the label included FM, Al Stewart, Nektar, The Hunt, Gerry Rafferty, Link Wray, Tucky Buzzard, Three Dog Night, Human Sexual Response, Wendy O. Williams, Brand X, Mike Rutherford, Robbie Krieger, David Johansen, Bill Nelson and Camel.
The label was the flagship label of Jem Records, and grew to become the Passport Record Group, which included the labels Passport Jazz, Audion Records, Import Records, PVC Records and Visa Records.
As of 1984, Passport Records had three albums in the Billboard top album charts. In 1986, Passport Records, led by JEM President Marty Scott, began operating separately from Jem Records. internally, though it was still distributed by JEM.
The Passport Records Group, as part of the JEM Records bankruptcy, was closed in 1988, Certain artists, such as Larry Fast, were able to obtain or retain rights to their recordings, following the bankruptcy proceedings. Marty Scott took Paradox Records to MCA where he operated the label from Warren, NJ.
- Particulars of Passport Records; Rateyourmusic. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
- Julia Flynn Siler, Business People: Jem Records president confident despite woes; New York Times, August 22, 1988. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
- Profile of Passport Records; Discogs. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
- Biography of Al Stewart; Folkville. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
- Profile of Passport Records Group; Rateyourmusic. Retrieved 2013-08-11.