RMM Records & Video

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[Ralph Mercado Management] RMM Records & Video Corp.
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 1972
Founder Ralph Mercado
Defunct 2001

Sony Discos (1990-1995)

Universal Music Latino (1996-present)
Genre Salsa, Merengue, Tropical, Latin Jazz

RMM Records, also known as the RMM Records & Video Corp, was an independent Latin music record label based in New York City. Fania Records promoter Ralph Mercado established RMM Management, an artist management and booking agency in 1972. In 1987 RMM Records was established. Recording, promoting, and touring artists recorded for the label throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. Artists who recorded for the label included Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Oscar D'León, Eddie Palmieri, Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda, José Alberto 'El Canario', Tony Vega, Tito Nieves, Johnny Rivera, Ray Sepúlveda, Domingo Quiñones, Miles Peña, Orquesta Guayacan, Conjunto Clasico, Manny Manuel, the New York Band, Marc Anthony, and Linda Caballero known as La India. The label also recorded the Fania All-Stars, a group of singers and studio musicians from the heyday of Fania Records, the powerhouse salsa label from the 1960s and 1970s. Other talented and famed artists were musical directors, pianists, producers, and arrangers Sergio George and Isidro Infante.

RMM Records focused on salsa, Latin jazz, and merengue music, re-inventing the New York sound of Latin music for nearly a decade and a half. In its 1990s peak, the record label generated an impressive roster of artists. RMM Records employed 55 staff members and had distribution deals in 42 cities around the world, occupying 9,000 square feet in two floors at its Soho headquarters.

Empire and Legacy[edit]

RMM filed for bankruptcy in November 2000, selling its assets to Universal Music Group, according to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York[1]—and as noted on article by Mireya Navarro of the NYTimes on June 7, 2001[2]—unpaid royalties, and a lawsuit settlement of $7.7 million by Glenn Monroig, singer-songwriter and the son of a well-known Puerto Rican balladeer, Gilberto Monroig—worth $11 million plus interest, caused the end of the great Ralph Mercado's RMM Records empire. On June 25, 2001, Universal Music Group [3] (UMG) and RMM Records (RMM) jointly announced the acquisition by Universal of RMM’s assets, which comprised one of the most well-respected tropical music catalogs in the industry as well as the future recordings by artists presently signed to the label. The transaction was approved as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy sale subject to the entry of an order by the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York. Ralph Mercado bounced back to promotions according to Billboard magazine[4] dated September 1, 2001.


Ralph Mercado Jr. (September 29, 1941 – March 10, 2009) was born in Brooklyn to a Puerto Rican mother and Dominican father. He entered the music business as a teenager, organizing parties and dances as president of a neighborhood social club. In the 1960s, he promoted R & B and soul artists like James Brown and twinned them with Latin artists like Mongo Santamaria. In the 1980s-1990s, Mercado was a promoter of Latin American musicLatin Jazz, Latin rock, merengue and salsa—establishing a network of businesses that included promoting concerts, managing artists and Ritmo Mundo Musical (RMM), a label as big as Fania Records.


Debra A. Mercado,[5] National Director of Publicity, beginning in the early 1990s, was in charge of public relations for five enterprises—RMM (Management); RMM Records and Video Corp., Ralph Mercado Presents and two publishing companies - Caribbean Waves Music (ASCAP) and Crossing Borders Music Inc. (BMI) -- as well as overseeing international promotions generated by RMM International.


Nelson Rodríguez [1]

Since 1991, Nelson Rodríguez[6] had been the General Manager of the Record Division followed by the National VP of Promotions & Marketing for RMM Records & Videos Corporation[7] until 2000/2001.

At RMM, Rodríguez helped develop 32 international markets for sales distribution and promotional events, spearheaded all major national promotions for label artists, consulted and assisted Marketing, Sales & Publicity and efficiently organized all night clubs and record pool promotions to maximize artist exposure. Due to Rodriguez's prior experience as North East Director of Promotions & Sales at TH Records (later TH- Rodven Records, also known as Rodven Records), Rodriguez and his well seasoned team managed to take the firm to new levels in the 1980s and 1990s, making it the #1 record label for Salsa music with Frankie Ruiz, Oscar D'León, Eddie Santiago, Lalo Rodriguez and Andy Montañez.

Rodríguez held this position at RMM for nine years, representing superb acts such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Oscar D'León, Giovanni Hidalgo, Michel Camilo while breaking in new artists such as Marc Anthony, La India and Michael Stuart.

Familia RMM Recordings[edit]


RMM labels[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "United States Bankruptcy Court Southern District Of New York" (PDF). United States Courts. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  2. ^ "For Sale...RMM Records". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  3. ^ "Universal Music Group". cvK6ffb8uyx. p. 1. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Billboard. cvK6ffb8uyx. p. 42. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Debra A. Mercado". cvK6ffb8uyx. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Nelson Rodríguez". Descarga. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  7. ^ "RMM Records and Videos Corporation". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-04-09.