05/07/12

Phoebe Jacobs, Jazz Publicist, Dies at 93

Also headed the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation

Phoebe Jacobs, a longtime jazz publicist who also ran the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and helped establish Armstrong’s Queens, N.Y., home as a museum, died April 9. She was 93. A cause was not disclosed but she had been ill in a New York hospital for two weeks.

During her career, Jacobs served as publicist for a plethora of jazz greats, including Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman.

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Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Phoebe Jacobs

Born Phoebe Pincus in The Bronx in 1918, the youngest of 12 children, Jacobs became involved in the New York nightclub scene and, according to an obituary in The New York Times, took a job at Decca Records, where one of her jobs was to hire musicians for recording sessions. She became a part owner of the nightclub Basin Street East and moved into public relations at the Rainbow Room. Later she was instrumental in helping to establish the nonprofit Jazz Foundation of America. She also successfully lobbied the U.S. Postal Service to issue an Armstrong stamp.

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