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AirPlay Direct Honors Sam Passamano with "Iconic Innovators" Award

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Sam Passamano IIAirPlay Direct is the leading secure digital file transfer system for the music industry, with a national and international reach of 9,400+ radio station members and over 39,000 artist/record label members. AirPlay Direct has created a special award to honor the innovators who have openly embraced digital innovation in the music industry. The AirPlay Direct "Iconic Innovators" Award is presented annually to the member of AirPlay Direct that best embraces the vision and opportunities that digital innovation in the music industry has and continues to create.

Sam has throughout his career embraced change and has evolved himself and his company to take advantage of all of the new digital innovations that assist artists and record companies in spreading the word and delivering music to countries around the world. Sam and Rural Rhythm Records were one of the first record companies to see the value and possibilities of AirPlay Direct and fully support our mission and vision.

“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”.
 ~ Lynda Weingartz, CEO – AirPlay Direct

As an integral component to the “Iconic Innovators” Award, AirPlay Direct is honoring Mr. Passamano with a $50,000 AirPlay Direct “Marketing & Awareness” Campaign for his legendary and award winning Bluegrass / Gospel label, Rural Rhythm Records.

“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 & 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.”

AirPlay Direct’s consulting division, Collective Evolution, will continue to work closely with the Rural Rhythm Records team to develop and execute an advanced “Global Radio Strategy” for the Rural Rhythm Records catalog and brand.

Sam Passamano, II has been associated with an abundance of music business family history and veteran experience through the years that surrounds his career in the music business. Sam, Sr. passed on to his son the knowledge, hard work ethics, music industry knowledge and credibility that followed him throughout his 37 year career as a distribution executive with DECCA, UNI and MCA Records. Also, Mr. Passamano, II has passed on the tradition to the next generation. His oldest daughter and oldest son both have key positions in the Rural Rhythm Records’ family business.

As Director of Marketing at MCA Records Mr. Passamano, II acquired many areas of responsibility including management of all Marketing activities overseeing In-house and Field Product Managers, Advertising, Merchandising, Publicity, development of all marketing campaigns and was involved in the development and execution of many successful titles released by Elton John, Olivia Newton John, Steely Dan, Tom Petty, The Who, George Strait, Merle Haggard, Bill Monroe, Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Don Williams, Conway Twitty, Oak Ridge Boys, etc.

In 1987 Mr. Passamano, II purchased Rural Rhythm Records which included a treasure trove of recorded masters by many legends and pioneers in old-time Country and traditional Bluegrass and Gospel genres including Mac Wiseman, Reno & Harrell, Red Smiley, Hylo Brown, J.E. Mainer, Curly Fox, Lee Moore, Vassar Clements, Dale Potter and many more.

AirPlay Direct is an artist marketing, promotion, and education platform that delivers premium digital services and is the leading secure digital file transfer system for the music industry. We are a centralized, professional eco-system that connects artists, labels, radio stations, as well as equipment and services. All of our subscribers are qualified music industry participants. We have a national and international reach of 9,400+ radio station members in 90 countries with over 39,000 artist / label members. We give direct access to the primary target market of artists, musicians, labels, and radio stations of all musical genres.

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