Elliot Goldman, a founding member of Clive Davis’s Arista Records and who also worked for CBS Records, BMG Music and Warner Communications during his long career in the music business, has passed away. He was 88.
Goldman died Wednesday at his home in the Pacific Palisades after struggling with health issues in recent months, his family said.
Goldman was executive vice president and general manager of Arista when Clive Davis launched the legendary label in 1974, and he “played a substantial role in the history of Arista Records and contributed greatly to its success,” Davis said in a statement.
After leaving Arista, Goldman served as senior vice president at Warner Communications from 1982 to 1985, and president and CEO of BMG Music—which oversaw Arista and several RCA Records labels—from 1985 to 1987. He then served as a consultant to record companies through the ’90s.
Goldman, who graduated from Cornell University in 1957 and Columbia University School of Law in 1961, began his career with the New York city and state government, leading the New York office for the 1964 presidential election by Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
He then worked in business affairs at CBS Records from 1967 to 1974.
Goldman has served on the boards of the RIAA and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and on the executive board of the TJ Martell Foundation, and served as co-chair of the home entertainment division of the UJA-Federation of New York.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Jill; children Ben, Elizabeth and Cathy; daughter-in-law Allysa; and grandchildren Justin, Dylan, Sophie, and Olivia.
Son Ben Goldman is an A&R executive at ONerpm and spent 20 years at Sony Music as a senior vp of A&R at Epic and Columbia Records, and grandson Justin Goldman was recognized in 2021 as the youngest music manager on a Forbes ’30 Under 30′ list list and has a joint venture with 10k Projects.
Funeral services were held Friday. Donations in Goldman’s name can be made at: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.