Rebel Records delivers 10 deep catalog recordings to global radio 

Charlottesville, VA based Rebel Records has linked up with AirPlay Direct, the premiere digital delivery/distribution provider of bluegrass music for worldwide radio. Their agreement will see several back-catalog titles released during the next year.

Initially, ten ‘deep catalogue’ recordings have been made available. 

Mark Freeman, the President of Rebel Records, elaborates …. 

“Here at Rebel Records we are excited to be collaborating with AirPlay Direct to not only share new music from Rebel Records, but also to get some of our most beloved titles from our deep catalog out to global radio! To kick off our partnership, we are presenting ten essential albums and artists that exemplify Rebel Records.

One cannot tell the story of Rebel Records without telling the story of Ralph Stanley. My Life and Legacy is an 18-song collection featuring many of Dr. Stanley’s most beloved recordings. 

The Country Gentlemen and Rebel Records came of age together, and 25 Years is a ‘best of’ collection that commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Country Gentlemen’s first show. 

John Duffey, a founding member of the Country Gentlemen, would later head up another integral DC area bluegrass band, The Seldom Scene. The Best of the Seldom Scene, was the first CD Rebel issued in the mid-1980s. Tony Rice is widely considered the greatest bluegrass guitarist of all time and his album Guitar made pickers everywhere sit up and take notice. 

Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers have recorded over 30 albums with Rebel, and Classic Bluegrass is a compilation of some of his most well-known titles. At age 17, Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs recorded Second Generation which was released in 1971, and to this day remains one of Rebel’s most consistently selling albums. Del McCoury’s Classic Bluegrass features the best material from the three albums he recorded for Rebel fronting his first band, The Dixie Pals.

J.D. Crowe is recognized as one of the finest banjo players and band leaders in bluegrass, and Blackjack is one of the most memorable and instrumentally tight bluegrass recordings of its time. Nearly a decade after signing with Rebel, the Lonesome River Band hit its peak when it recorded Carrying The Tradition, which won the coveted IBMA Album of the Year Award in 1992. Rounding out this batch of essential Rebel recordings is another IBMA Album of the Year winner, It’s a Long, Long Road by supergroup Blue Highway.”

Recently, Freeman was named AirPlay Direct’s “Iconic Innovator” for 2020.

Of that award Lynda Weingartz, CEO, AirPlay Direct, said…..

“Mark’s keen eye for talent, and unique approach to business has and continues to help competently shape and define the bluegrass genre of today. His skill and ability in navigating through disruptive changes in the industry is a true testament, and a commendable example of how to not only survive, but how to thrive in the digital-era. As President of Rebel Records, Mark’s many notable successes and achievements over the years puts him in a class reserved for only the very best in our industry. AirPlay Direct is pleased and proud to honor Mark Freeman with our ‘Iconic Innovator’ Award for 2020.”

Mark Freeman responded ….  

“What an honor to be named the 2020 AirPlay Direct ‘Iconic Innovator’. When I started working alongside my father, David Freeman, in 1998, we could not have imagined what the music industry would be like today. Thankfully, we at Rebel have been able to keep pace with the changes in part thanks to the good and important work of AirPlay Direct.”

AirPlay Direct is a digital delivery system developed for artists, radio programmers, and music industry professionals. It allows artists and labels to send secure broadcast-quality music and digital press kits to radio stations, booking agents, promoters, and music supervisors worldwide.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.