Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Salsa Producer Ralph Mercado Dies, 67

Photo © by Martin Cohen, used by permission.
Mercado pictured in 2001.

Word is circulating that salsa producer Ralph Mercado, head of the RMM label in the '90s, has passed away.

Said musician Bobby Matos in a public forum on Yahoo:
"I understand that Ralphie was controversial and sometimes difficult but he was very important in the careers of a number of our great musicians. In addition to being a business person, I always found him interested in the people around him. Descansa en paz, Ralphie, Ibae (como dice los Lucumi)."

This obituary appeared yesterday in the Miami Herald.

Interesting obituary in the New York Daily News.

This 2001 article in the New York Times gets into the nitty gritty of Mercado's business practices, including his bankruptcy that year, lawsuits over copyright infringement and unpaid royalties, and loss of RMM.

This appreciation of the industry giant (en Español) by Josue Rivas appears in La Opinion.

Aurora Flores wrote this story with many details about Mercado's career in 2006. At the time, he was recovering from cancer surgery.


RADIO ALERT: This SUNDAY (3/15), 4-6 pm Rocky Mountain Time [6-8 pm Eastern Time], Denver DJ Arturo Gomez will be paying tribute to Ralph Mercado on the KUVO program "Salsa con Jazz." He will give retrospective spins from labels RMM and Tropijazz, and artists such as Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Hilton Ruiz and more.

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