Born Ted Horowitz, Popa Chubby is a true native son of the Big Apple. He was born in 1960 in the Bronx and grew up in a neighborhood made famous by Robert DeNiro in the movie A Bronx Tale. His parents owned a candy store on the corner of 181st Street and Arthur Avenue. His early memories of hearing the juke box playing the hits of early sixties soul and R&B – and the neighborhood teens flocking around it – made a lasting impression on him. To this day the musical influence of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye are ever present in Popa’s music.
At the tender age of six, he picked up the drums and became consumed in playing “Wipeout” (much to the dismay of his mother and neighbors). His parents were huge fans of jazz and R&B and had a vast collection of 78’s and LP’s. Popa would spend hours scratching them up by playing the sections he liked over and over again. When he was seven, his father took him to see an oldies show at Madison Square Garden. Up close to the stage he watched the headliner duck walk across the stage playing his Gibson 335 like a ringin’ a bell!! Chuck Berry became Popa’s idol. The untimely death of his father when he was nine left Ted living with his old-school Italian grandparents. His love affair with the drums was put on indefinite hold.