Country’s What He Chooses
By Phil Sweetland
Music and Radio contributor, The New York Times
NASHVILLE – When Len Snow’s debut single “Country’s What I Choose” soared to the top of the Billboard Country Singles Sales Chart for 8 weeks in 2006, it was the perfect example both of Snow’s immense musical gifts and his massive work ethic.
The Ohio native wrote the up-tempo hit, produced and sang the recording, and then, with the help of the FYE chain of stores, sold it himself.
“I got the bar code on the single, then I actually went to 170 FYE music stores and played live at each one,” Snow says. “We were selling between 80 and 300 CDs per store, and I signed every single one of ‘em.”
This uncanny willingness to go the extra mile has been Len Snow’s way of doing business his whole life.
He was the seventh of eight kids in a very musical family. Len’s late father – who remains his greatest hero 10 years after his passing – worked full-time days as an optician and part-time nights as the leader of a Country band. Snow has fond memories of carrying amps and gooseneck mike stands to his Dad’s shows at Moose Lodges and wedding receptions.
The father taught the son a few chords on the guitar, but young Len had another passion: baseball. Starting at age 6, Snow was a gifted third baseman and catcher who led all Toledo prep players in hitting, earned a full scholarship to the University of Toledo, and was drafted by the independent Newark Buffaloes.
But in his very first game as a professional, Snow collided with his left fielder on a pop fly. It “blew my foot all to pieces,” he says, and thus his baseball career slammed to a halt.
Life went on, carrying Snow to the Wine Country in Northern California. He got married and rekindled his passion for music and songwriting. The painful breakup of that marriage led him to write all 12 songs for his debut album, including “Country’s What I Choose.”
Len, who has a pair of wonderful sons named Lance and Luke, was hired to play weekends at a local winery. “I saw my Dad’s life opening before my eyes,” he says. But Snow took it even further, cutting the album and signing with a veteran music attorney, Beverly Robin Green, who has worked with clients including the Doobie Brothers, the Grateful Dead, Warner Brothers Pictures, and Disney Pixar.
Len took the ultimate step of moving to Nashville in 2006. His songwriting has boomed. Snow wrote all 10 songs on his upcoming album himself. He is very active on the touring circuit, and has become a favorite of Country Radio stations, including Citadel’s K-100 in Toledo and KUBB Country in Merced, California.
After an Ohio show, Brian Duggan of the Toledo Blade wrote: “I hope Len Snow makes it. He’s the hometown boy. He’s got movie star looks, a great stage presence, a solid voice. He’s easy to like. He wrote all 12 songs on his (debut) album, most of those written after getting ‘kicked in the stomach’ by the love of his life. Len’s got a tear-stained legal pad filled with lyrics that poured out of him.”
We just know that somewhere, Len’s Daddy is smiling.
- Updated August 16, 2008