The amazingly gifted singer Phoebe Snow passed away today. She was very special.
My partner, Steve, and I were privileged to see her perform at “Birdland” in New York just a couple of years ago. We sat at a ringside table not more than a few feet from her. That will always be a great memory for us….
She was an amazing singer and an amazing person….
Here is an excerpt from her obituary and a CBS Profile.
I’ll also post a couple of video clips of her performing…
NEW YORK – It wasn’t long after the release of “Poetry Man,” the breezy, jazzy love song that would make Phoebe Snow a star, that the singer experienced another event that would dramatically alter her life.
In 1975, she gave birth to a daughter, Valerie Rose, who was found to be severely brain-damaged. Her husband split from her soon after the baby was born. And, at a time when many disabled children were sent to institutions, Snow decided to keep her daughter at home and care for the child herself.
The decision to be Valerie’s primary caretaker would lead her to abandon music for a while and enter into ill-fated business decisions in the quest to stay solvent enough to take care of Valerie.
Snow, who worked her way back into the music performing world in the 1980s and continued to perform in recent years, died on Tuesday from complications of a brain hemorrhage she suffered in January 2010, said Rick Miramontez, her longtime friend and public relations representative. She was 60.
Snow never regretted her decision to put aside music so she could focus on Valerie’s care. She was devastated when her daughter, who was not expected to live beyond her toddler years, died in 2007 at 31.
“She was my universe,” she told the website PopEntertainment.com that year. “She was the nucleus of everything. I used to wonder, am I missing something? No. I had such a sublime, transcendent experience with my child. She had fulfilled every profound love and intimacy and desire I could have ever dreamed of.”
After her stroke last year, Snow endured bouts of blood clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure, said her manager, Sue Cameron.
“The loss of this unique and untouchable voice is incalculable,” Cameron said. “Phoebe was one of the brightest, funniest and most talented singer-songwriters of all time and, more importantly, a magnificent mother to her late brain-damaged daughter, Valerie, for 31 years. Phoebe felt that was her greatest accomplishment.”
Known as a folk guitarist who made forays into jazz and blues, Snow put her stamp on soul classics such as “Shakey Ground,” “Love Makes a Woman” and “Mercy, Mercy Mercy” on over a half dozen albums.
Here is a clip of a profile from CBS a couple of years ago: