Singer-Songwriter and Variety Sales Executive Was 77

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Judi Pulver, a singer-songwriter who became the top music sales executive for Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, died Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 77.

Pulver spent about 15 years with Variety, steering all music-related sales and marketing activity. Pulver was well known and well regarded in the music community, respected for the knowledge and perspective she brought to her work, given her long experience as an artist and performer. She was also known for her raspy voice and lightning-quick sense of humor.

“While Judi Pulver operated on the business side of Variety, she never lost her artistic passion. She operated with the energy and vigor and enthusiasm of the young recording artist that she once was,” said Steven Gaydos, Variety‘s executive editor for global content. “She approached the business of music as an artist with a zeal for the community and they returned that love to her.”

Pulver’s arrival at Variety coincided with the relaunch of its business activity in the music arena. Pulver was crucial to helping navigate the marketplace at a time of rapid transformation.

“Nobody was more excited about the possibilities in the music business and nobody was as fearless as Judi in chasing down opportunities. It was infectious,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Group Publisher and CEO of Variety. “She always told us, ‘You have to understand the business before you can cover it. So learn it.’ She had such joie de vivre. We treasure the memories we have from our time with Judi, and we send our deepest sympathies to her family and many friends.”

A native of Connecticut, Pulver got her start as a singer and songwriter who also worked in stage musicals. Her first mention in Variety came in August 1965 for her small role in the cast of a Pennsylvania stock performance of “Tom Jones.” In 1973, while signed to MGM Records, she released her signature album “Pulver Rising,” which has become a cult favorite album. The album yielded the single “Dancing on the Moon,” which generated significant airplay and landed her TV appearances in the U.K.



Pulver was an opening act on a 1974 tour by rockers Mott the Hoople, which also gave her a big profile boost. Throughout the 1970s and early ’80s, Pulver continued to pursue her career as a singer and songwriter. By 1981, she had also moved into entertainment sales and marketing. Pulver spent more than 20 years with Hollywood Reporter before moving to Variety in 2007. She stepped down from her Variety duties in 2022 as her health began to fail.

Pulver’s survivors include her husband, film and TV composer Don Peake.

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