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Remembering 'Poetry Man' singer Phoebe Snow, who died Tuesday at 60

Phoebe Snow 1998 Phoebe Snow, the jazz-pop singer best known for her 1975 hit "Poetry Man," has died at age 60 of complications from a brain hemorrhage she suffered last year.

She captured pop audiences and musicians alike with her rich, dark and wide-ranging voice, and scored another hit, the supercharged gospel-inflected "Gone At Last," in tandem with Paul Simon. Her debut album, "Phoebe Snow" reached No. 4 in Billboard and helped earn her a Grammy nomination as best new artist.

She released four more albums before largely dropping out of the music scene to care for her daughter, Valerie, who was born with severe brain damage and who died in 2007 at age 31.

Snow last appeared on the charts with her 1989 album "Something Real," but resurfaced sporadically singing in commercials and doing occasional live performances. Here's a link to a "CBS Sunday Morning" profile.

-- Randy Lewis

 
Comments () | Archives (12)

Thanks for the link to the great CBS profile of Phoebe. The highlight of my first year in Florida after moving there from a tiny town in 1984 was finally getting to see Phoebe live in a small club. To find out that she was as sweet as she was talented was a bonus. I'm so sorry she's gone, but I'm so glad she left such wonderful music to remember her by. Listen to "Two-Fisted Love" sometime and you'll see why hers is a voice that will live forever.

Style, Elegance & Class! You will be missed x

Poetry Man was a nice song when I was in High School. Nothing wrong with nice songs. I saw her in the 1990s with Steeley Dan billed as the New York Rock and Roll Revue. McDonald and others were on the bill. Phoebe said, " Let me sing my hit ", and then sang " Celebrate the moments of your life " from the coffee commercial. ( sense of humor ). Then sang Poetry Man. Also sang Standing On Shakey Ground and amazed the audience with At Last ( remember Obamas inaguration balls). She could really open up a mouth, and I mean that as a complement. What a voice. Very loud but not screaming.Tony Bennett and Tom Jones can do this. Loud but not screaming. An opera type voice, only able to sing popular music. I didn't know about her daughter. It is somewhat like the Red Nickels movie with Danny Kaye, leaving career for daughter. She played pretty good guitar as she sang also. I recommend The New York Rock And Soul Revue CD for some good Phoebe Snow live with Steeley Dan and other good musicians. It doesn't have Poetry Man, but thats another CD worth having. ....Phoebe, stay with us some more. You don't have to go. You're the Poetry Gal, you make everything alright.

An awesome talent with an awesome love for the basics in life. Such as love for family and humanity. She helped stretch my musical boundaries and opened the door to an endless possibility of song. Thank you Phoebe Snow.

This is heartbreaking news. Phoebe's voice was one-of-a-kind -- a fine and robust acquired taste. Few voices were so memorable, so pure and honest.

If you don't know her music, check out my faves:
* "We're Children" (duet with Kenny Loggins)
* "Something So Right"

R.I.P., sweet soul sister.

Aw, I'm saddened by this news. The very first concert tickets that I ever bought were to see Phoebe Snow at the small theater in my hometown. I didn't really know who she was at the time, but I'll never forget how beautifully she sang. And yes, her inner beauty was quite evident from every seat in the house. Encore, Phoebe, encore!

As a little girl growing up in Los Angeles during the 70s, my Mom had a huge album collection which included music by Phoebe Snow. I remember my Mom playing the song No Regrets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba9mkkAhzkE) and it sound soooo beautiful to me. Thank God for her musical contributions. To the memory of Phoebe Snow!

I remember sitting in the the car while my Mom played a Phoebe Snow tape. The album was Looks Like Like Snow. I would sing Shine, Shine, Shine at the top of my lungs and wished I could be the girl with a "Three octave range". Not quite a three octave range, but enough. She started my love of music that has never ended. Thank you Phoebe.

Man, this one hurts. As you get older, you become accustomed to losing your "public heroes", but Phoebe? That's just not right.

I can't count the number of times that she sang me to sleep, during hard times. Listening to her was like having warm, loving arms wrapped around me.

Phoebe, baby, I hope you have warm, loving arms wrapped around you now. You certainly deserve the comfort. Bless you.

Oh, how her beautiful voice will be missed. There was no one like her, she was truly an original. Her relationship with her precious daughter, Valerie left an everlasting impression on me. Having lost a special needs child myself, I will always remember how her story on the CBS Morning profile moved me.

There's a beautiful reunion happening right this very second. The thought of her reuniting with her daughter makes my heart soar!

Even though she will be remembered for the "Poetry Man" all of her songs on CDs,cassettes,LPs were just brilliant I listened time and time again to mostly all of them Thanks for the great music to soothe the soul and spirit of many!

I can remember that day I bought her first album like yesterday. Something about that extrodinary voice, the lyrical melody and her words. Bought the next four albums and played they constantly. Along with Joni Mitchell she was just so unique and special. Her words like Joni's came from the heart as well as the head. A true teller of stories. But what I love the most was not just the gift of her talent but the gift of her life to her daughter. Hard to image Lady Gaga giving up her career (if that's what you call it) for her child. The two are now reunited forever I'm sure. You were beautiful Phoebe in every way. A real inspiration - "come visit me inspired insanity". I will never forget your voice, "rock away, rock away".


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