Rural Rhythm Records

Rural Rhythm Records is a record label based in Nashville, Tennessee specializing in recordings by bluegrass music and gospel music artists.

Rural Rhythm
Founded1955 (1955)
FounderJim O'Neal
Distributor(s)Sony, New Day Christian Distributors
GenreBluegrass, country, contemporary Christian
Country of originU.S.
LocationNashville, Tennessee


"Uncle" Jim O'Neal founded the Rural Rhythm label in 1955 in Arcadia, California.[1] He sold via mail order, records were often produced with a generic white front sleeve with a stamped serial number in the upper right corner.[2]

O'Neal insisted records would sell for $3.50 apiece (as opposed to major label records that sold for $3.98 to $4.98). O'Neal also released 20 songs on each LP album, as opposed to major labels who released on average 12 songs on each LP.[3]

O'Neal died in 1982, and Sam Passamano purchased Rural Rhythm in 1987.[4]

The Heritage Collection brand reissues recordings from the 1950s–1960s Rural Rhythm archives. Recent Heritage artists include Hylo Brown, Red Smiley and The Blue Grass Cutups, and Mac Wiseman, Don Reno, Bill Harrell, J. E. Mainer, Curly Fox, Dale Potter, Earl Taylor, Max Martin, Buck Ryan, Lee Moore, Raymond Fairchild, and Jim Greer.[5]

Besides the Heritage Collection brand, Rural Rhythm issues bluegrass recordings under the Sound Traditions and Bluegrass Power Picks brands.[6]

In 2017, SONY Red Distribution became the distributors of Rural Rhythm mainstream recordings. New Day Christian Distributors continues to distribute their Christian recordings.[7]


Here is a partial list of artists who have released recordings on the Rural Rhythm label.

A – GEdit

H – MEdit

N – REdit

S – ZEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ staff writer (January 24, 2016). "Rural Rhythm Records Releases More of their Catalog to Radio Via AirPlay Direct". Cybergrass Bluegrass News Network. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "Rural Rhythm Records (the original releases)". Hank Williams Listings. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Jerome Clark. "Music Review: Bluegrass Power Picks: 25 Traditional Classics". Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  4. ^ staff writer (April 27, 2015). "Rural Rhythm's Sam Passamano Receives Iconic Innovators Award!l". Prescription Bluegrass. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Lawless, John (August 2, 2016). "Three more classic reissues from Rural Rhythm". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  6. ^ staff writer (January 3, 2017). "Rural Rhythm Records & New Day Announce Expanded Distribution". Cybergrass Bluegrass News Network. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Lawless, John (January 3, 2017). "Rural Rhythm joins with SONY Red". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved June 24, 2017.

External linksEdit