Who is Pobba?

All about Pobba

Singer/songwriter… Author of the Cheesie Mack books (aimed at 8-11 year old readers)… Hollywood screenwriter… Harvard Business School MBA… Telecom scientist… Investment banker… Retired Little League catcher… Grandfather.

Read more about Steve Cotler, the man behind Pobba→

Pobba in NYC at the St. Bernard’s School

What Does “Pobba” Mean?

My kids call me Dad, Pop, and Poppa. Then the last name morphed into Pobba…and I liked it. I hope the name “Pobba” connotes warmth and a good sense of humor, because that’s who I am.

“Pobba” should be pronounced to rhyme with Jabba the Hutt. Say PA-Bah, not POOH-Bah or POE-Bah. In Boston, however, it is permissible to say PA-Ber.


Is “My ‘Magination” available in stores?

A few, but not many. We are working to get wider distribution. You can view current ordering options here!

Singing at Nu’uanu Elementary School in Honolulu

Was there anyone in your family who wasn’t involved in making “My ‘Magination”?

Two daughters and a brother sing back-up vocals, another daughter did all the CD design and website, my fourth daughter brought forth my first grandchild, to whom the album is dedicated, and my other brother directed and produced my stage show. That leaves only my son…and I’m trying to get him involved!

The CD credits list your brother Doug as playing a vacuum cleaner tube. What’s that all about?

Everyone was a kid once! Didn’t you talk or sing through the metal tube of your family’s vacuum cleaner? Just listen to the words “stand up” in “I See What I See by the Sea” and the joys of homemade instruments will come back to you.
Pobba performs in NYC at FAO Schwarz!

Pobba performs in NYC at FAO Schwarz!

Your brother Doug, who composed the music for all but two of the songs in “My ‘Magination,” won a Grammy. For what?

Doug wrote one of the songs (“Manhunt”) in the hugely successful movie and album Flashdance.

Is “My ‘Magination” available on cassette?

Sorry, no.

Where can I get a copy of the lyrics?

Samples of the lyrics are included on this website. The full set, with terrific illustrations actually drawn by kids, is included with the CD.

I have a child who is almost three years old. She’s very advanced. Would your CD be appropriate for her?

Maybe. “My ‘Magination” has a lot of words and some abstract concepts. It is really aimed at kids 3-9. But who knows…try it!

Pobba in NYC at The Spence School

Pobba Speaks to Parents

I consider it a privilege and an obligation when parents invite my music into their children’s lives. For that reason (and because I remember how much fun being a kid can be) Pobba’s songs do not talk down to kids.

All the songs on “My ‘Magination” were originally written to be picture books or videos. Every song tells a story from a child’s point of view. Funny, stimulating, and different, these tunes, as the album title announces, encourage imagination, visualization, and participation.

Pobba Interviewed

Steve Cotler: Why do you write and sing children’s songs?

Pobba: As a kid, and still today, I love those “discovery” moments when children find something new. I put those moments in every song and then watch the faces open up with surprise and laughter.

Pobba visits a pediatrics ward at a NYC hospital (Pobba performed at the 14th Annual “Light Up a Life” benefit for New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical College at FAO Schwarz).

SC: How did you get started singing?

Pobba: I grew up around music. My father was a cantor. He couldn’t walk from one room to another without breaking into song. He’d pass Mom in the hall, sing out, “I’ll be loving you always…” and then make a sandwich.

SC: You’re a grandfather…and “My ‘Magination” is your first album. What took so long?

Pobba: I started writing rhyming stories for my own children in 1975. My brother Doug, a Grammy Award-winning composer, put music to some of them, but we were just too busy on other projects. The children’s songs stayed in my family…and in a file drawer. Years passed. I continued to write songs. Then I became a grandfather. That should explain it.

SC: Where did the the name “Pobba” come from?

Pobba: My kids call me Dad, Pop, and Poppa. Then the last name morphed into Pobba… and I liked it. I hope the name “Pobba” connotes warmth and a good sense of humor, because that’s who I am.

SC: Whom do you admire?

Pobba: Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss for their writing and art, Frank Loesser for his words and music (is there a better Broadway show than Guys and Dolls?), Danny Kaye for his antic performance, Maury Wills for base stealing excellence, and my five children for letting me express myself as a parent.

SC: One last question–Has anyone actually prepared the meals described in “I’m Making Dinner”?

Pobba: I hope not!

My ‘Magination

Is available from the following retailers:

My 'Magination album cover

Spigot Records

May 27, 2002