Hello my name is Debra Mercado the eldest daughter of 5 children of Ralph Mercado. I am writing this article as a tribute to the legacy of Ralph Mercado with the upcoming 10 year anniversary of his passing. I wish to acknowledge his contributions to the Latin music industry and the lives he has touched as a result of his passion and dedication to such.
As his firstborn I had the privilege of growing up with him as he explored his growth within the industry. As the stories go…He began his legacy with “waistline parties” whereby womans waistlines were measured and charged 1 penny per inch to enter to his Brooklyn, New York basement parties. These events eventually grew into the neighborhood 3&1 Nightclub, St George Hotel and then The NYC Cheetah where the filming the Fania All Stars was historically done.
Dad took me with him to the sound checks at the St George Hotel as he prepared for the nights event-one side Salsa and the other side R&B. I was exposed to the best of all the artist in each genre…R &B artist James Brown, Chi-Lites, Stylistics, Moments…Salsa artist La Lupe, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriquez, Machito, Charlie and Eddie Palmieri just to name a few. As he traveled worldwide with the Fania All Stars these artist became part of our extended family and neighbors. So my life was full of lots of aunts and uncles within the music industry.
Mom-Dolores Mercado, myself and various family members assisted dad with all his administrative task to begin Ralph Mercado Management where he began booking and managing the above artist until he had an opportunity to grow into Ralph Mercado Presents presenting concerts at all major arenas worldwide. These concerts culminated into 30 years of the annual New York Salsa Festival at Madison Square Garden.
My parents instilled in me the importance of a solid education resulting in my attending and graduating from Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. As a result of a full career that eventually lead me to become the National Director of Publicity and Operations of his newly created record label-RMM Records & Video Corp which developed, launched, created and introduced the careers of Marc Anthony, India as well as the continuous development of Multi Grammy award winning artist like Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Nieves just to name a few.
Additionally RMM Records became the home to 2 Publishing companies: Caribbean Waves and Crossing Borders, Sonero, RMM International, Merengazo, Sonero Records, Ralph Mercado Management, Ralph Mercado Presents, RMM Filmworks