You might not be familiar with her name, but Beth Krakower was a titan in the film music industry. She was a film music publicist, one of the best in the business. Yesterday she lost her two-year-long battle with breast cancer and now an entire industry mourns her passing.
I’m not sure what your initial impressions of a publicist are, but for me, when I first wandered into this side of the industry, my intuition told me they were simply salespeople bent on pushing their clients' music. While this is generally true, this description does not accurately describe Beth or her methods. When I started writing about film music for Ain’t It Cool News back in the mid-2000s, Beth was one of the first film music publicists to reach out to me. I liked her immediately. She marched to the beat of her own drum, loved being goofy, and was a genuine human being.
Our relationship started out professional at first but as I got to know her and feel comfortable talking with her we became friends. She would call me up and spend twenty minutes chatting about various things, movies we’ve seen, whatever was going on in our lives, and the last two minutes of the call, she’d run down her list of clients and their projects to see if there was anything that interested me. She was never pushy, nor insistent of anything. Beth simply adored the composers whom she represented and wanted to share that love with others. She made a thriving business out of being a fan, and she was among the very best at it.
I remember the first time we talked after she released the news of her cancer diagnosis. She told me flat out, “Oh, I’ll beat it. I’m not worried.” and described it as a trifle inconvenience in her life. And you know what? I totally believed her. That’s the type of person Beth was: strong-willed, supremely confident, determined, and genuinely optimistic. I thought, “Yeah, Beth’s totally got this.”
That’s why last night’s news hit me so hard. There’s no way cancer got the best of Beth Krakower. In my mind she’s still battling…and winning.
Looking back on my journalistic career, I realize now, more than ever, how integral Beth was to facilitating it. If you’ve ever read film music articles, interviews, or reviews from me or any other film music-focused journalist in the world, you can rest assured Beth Krakower had something to do with it. Her love of film music and the composers whom she represented was infectious and the art form as a whole benefited greatly because of it.
I don’t think Beth will ever give up the fight. She may no longer be with us, but her fight will continue forever.