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PAT PIPOLO,
1931-2018

Pat Pipolo, a promotions executive who played a key role in breaking Elton John, died 3/2. He was 86.

Pipolo started working with Russ Regan and Rick Frio at Uni Records in 1967, generating hits by Strawberry Alarm ClarkHugh MasakelaNeil Diamond and others.

In 1971, Pipolo was upped to national promotion manager of MCA overseeing Uni, Decca and Kapp. Among his key moves he made for John was the then-risky decision to release “Bennie and the Jets” as a single, which proceeded to top the pop and black music charts.

A New Yorker, Pipolo started in retail, working at Manhattan record stores such as Colony before taking a job at Kapp, which eventually transferred him to Los Angeles. He worked for Record Merchandisers then moved to Vee Jay in 1961 as its L.A. promotion man before being promoted to West Coast Sales Director.

He had a stint with Liberty Records from 1964 to 1967, and in ’67, he produced the one album by The Rose Garden, which yielded the Top 20 hit "Next Plane to London."

He also worked for United Artists, Casablanca and Island, putting his sales and promotion skills to work for Olivia Newton-John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Helen Reddy, Bob Marley and others.

After her retired in the 1980s, he opened the restaurant Pip’s Place in Thousand Oaks.

A Celebration of Life will be held 6/24. For more information, email [email protected].

 

 

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