Phoebe Snow

Phoebe Snow (July 17, 1950 — April 26, 2011) was an American singer/songwriter from New York, best known for the songs “Harpo’s Blues” and “Poetry Man” from her 1974 debut album. Between 1976 and 1978, she released four albums on Columbia.

She was born Phoebe Ann Laub to Merrill and Lili Laub, a Jewish couple from New York City. Phoebe’s father collected antiques and had a vast knowledge of American music, film, and theater. Her mother taught dance and performed for choreographer Martha Graham. Merrill played records nonstop, exposing Phoebe from an early age to blues, Dixieland, Broadway show tunes, folk, and classical music.

The family resided in Teaneck, New Jersey, where Laub graduated from Teaneck High School in 1968, the same class as film critic Leonard Maltin, filmmaker Roger Birnbaum (Who’s That Girl), and one year ahead of musician/producer Chris Jasper (Isley Brothers). After school, she hit the Greenwich Village folk club circuit with her Martin 000-18 acoustic guitar in hand. She got her stage name from a white-clad fictional woman in a 1900s advertisement for Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad.

Snow got her break at The Bitter End, a coffee house on Bleecker St. where she was spotted by English producer Denny Cordell (The Move, The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Joe Cocker). He signed her to Shelter Records, a label he co-founded three years earlier with American songwriter Leon Russell.


  • Phoebe Snow (1974)
  • Second Childhood (1976)
  • It Looks Like Snow (1976)
  • Never Letting Go (1977)
  • Against the Grain (1978)
  • Rock Away (1981)
  • Something Real (1989)


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