RMM Records

RMM Records

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

Sony Discos (1990-1995)

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

RMM Records, also known as RMM Records & Video Corp, was an independent Latin music record label based in New York City. In 1972, a Fania Records promoter named Ralph Mercado established RMM Management, an artist management and booking agency, and soon after in 1987, RMM Records was founded. Recording, promoting and touring artists recorded for the label throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, over 14 years of seasoned and new talented tropical music stars which 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.

The firm focused on salsa, Latin jazz, and merengue music and re-inventing the New York sound of Latin music for nearly a decade and a half, generating an impressive rosters of artists for the record label during the its peak in the 1990s. And to manage all of it, RMM Records employed 55 staff members and had distribution deals in 42 cities around the world, and occupying 9,000 square feet in two floors at its SoHo headquarters.

The Empire and Its Legacy are Here to Stay

Financial circumstances encountered, led RMM to file for bankruptcy in November 2000, and subsequently sold 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|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, causing 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 comprise 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 has been 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 bounces 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, Mr. Mercado began in 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, Radio Mundo Musical (RMM) as gigantic as the Fania Records label.


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 promotional generated by RMM International.


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 multi-tasked helping to develop 32 international markets for sales distribution and promotional events, as well as spearheaded all major national promotions for label artists, consulting and assisting Marketing, Sales & Publicity and efficiently organizing all night clubs and record pool promotions to maximize artist exposure. Rodríguez along with his well seasoned team managed to take the firm to another level, in part with his prior experience as North East Director of Promotions & Sales at TH Records, during the 1980s and 1990s, later TH-Rodven Records (also known as Rodven Records), that was the #1 Salsa record label in the 1980s with Frankie Ruiz, Oscar D'León, Eddie Santiago, Lalo Rodriguez, Andy Montañez.

Rodríguez held this position at RMM for nine years representing superb acts such as Michael Stuart.

Familia RMM Recordings

  • Combinación Perfecta 1993
  • Tropical Tribute to The Beatles 1996
  • Recordando a Selena 1996
  • En Vivo 1994 (recorded at Miami Arena, July 1993)
  • European Explosion 1996 (recorded at Cannes, February 1995)


RMM labels

  • SOHO Latino
  • Sonero Discos
  • RMM International
  • TropiJazz
  • Merengazo
  • RMM Rocks

See also