Sam Passamano receives Airplay Direct award

Rural Rhythm RecordsAirplay Direct, the file-sharing system that serves artists, music labels and radio programmers, has announced Sam Passamano of Rural Rhythm Records as the recipient of their second annual Iconic Innovators Award. In addition to the honor, this award comes with a free Airplay Direct marketing campaign valued at $50,000.

It is meant to acknowledge decision-makers in the music industry who both recognize and implement new strategies available in the digital era. This, of course is the mission of Airplay Direct, allowing radio people a simple way to quickly preview and download broadcast-quality tracks in a wide variety of style. For most artists or labels, the company’s fees are far lower than the cost of mailing hundreds of CDs to stations, and the programmers have instant access to millions of tracks.

Rural Rhythm has always been focused on bluegrass and traditional music, a vision that Passamano retained when he purchased the business from its founder in 1987. In addition to releases from new artists, classics from their deep archives are brought back on a regular basis.

Lynda Weingartz, AirPlay Direct CEO, says that Sam was an easy choice.

Lynda Weingartz, CEO of Airplay Direct“This year proved to have a very strong field of candidates for this award. However, the AirPlay Direct Selection Committee were all in agreement that Sam Passamano, II, President – Rural Rhythm Records was the perfect executive to be honored. His professional track record and that of his label Rural Rhythm Records clearly demonstrates that this award was earned by a true ‘Iconic Innovator’ in his prime.”

And Passamano reports being appreciative of this recognition.

Sam Passamano“I am honored to be this year’s recipient of the “Iconic Innovators Award” from AirPlay Direct. After 37 years in the music business and being a second generation record guy, I have learned that success follows hard work, clearly defined goals, well thought out marketing strategies and last but not least, a constant eye on new and innovative ways to get our artists music to the right people in efficient and effective ways.

Several years back, Robert at AirPlay Direct and Sammy III (the third generation record guy in our family) at Rural Rhythm set up a new way for D.J.’s to receive new music in a digital format from our Rural Rhythm artists. Many years later, the service that AirPlay Direct provides artists and record labels has now become the industry standard that is used by major and independent artists and record labels.

Rural Rhythm recognizes and appreciates the foresight and importance of AirPlay Direct and we are extremely grateful to Robert, Lynda and their staff for all their contributions and hard work helping Rural Rhythm get its artists music into the right hands and ears over the years.”

Well done, Sam!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.