Elliot Goldman, a founding executive at Arista Records and longtime music-industry consultant, has died at 88.
Goldman died after dealing with months-long health issues on Wednesday at his Pacific Palisades home.
Prior to his over year-long-career in the music and entertainment business, Goldman began his professional life in New York City and state government, starting with helping facilitate President Robert F. Kennedy’s 1964 election campaign. He also acted as a legislative counsel, and executive assistant to the New York City Rent Administrator in the administration of John Lindsay. He worked at CBS Records in the business affairs department from 1967 to 1974.
However, Goldman was best known for being the executive vice president and general manager of the record label Arista when record producer Clive Davis founded the company in 1974. Many notable artists performed under the label, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Prince, Babyface, The Notorious B.I.G. and more.
“Elliot Goldman played a substantial role in the history of Arista Records and strongly contributed to its success,” Davis said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “He was also a great family man and Jill, Ben and the Goldman children have my deepest sympathy for this irreplaceable loss.”
After he left Arista, he took up the role of senior vice president at Warner Communications in 1982, where he stayed until 1985. While there, he became president and CEO of BMG Music. Arista and RCA Records were managed underneath the Warner Communications umbrella from 1985 to 1987. That year Goldman founded his consulting firm The Elliot Goldman Group, which he used to consult music labels during the 1990s.
His son Ben, followed in his music business footsteps, becoming an A&R executive at ONErpm, and did his grandson Justin Goldman, who was once recognized by Forbes as the youngest music executive on its “30 Under 30” list.
A graduate of Cornell University (1957), and Columbia University School of Law (1961), Goldman served on the board for RIAA and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. He was also on the executive council of the T.J. Martell Foundation
Goldman is survived by his wife, Jill, whom he was married to for 56 years; and his three children Ben, Liz and Cathy Goldman.