I just learned that Phoebe Snow died today. She's always been one of my favorites. Here's a bit about her life.
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.
Not long after Snow's Poetry Man reached the top five on the pop singles chart in 1975, her daughter, Valerie Rose, was born with severe brain damage, and Snow decided to look after her at home rather than place her in care.
"She was the only thing that was holding me together," she told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008. "My life was her, completely about her, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed at night."
Valerie, who had been born with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain cavity that inhibits brain development, was not expected to live more than a few years. She died in 2007,aged 31.
Years ago I went to see Phoebe in concert. It was after Valerie Rose was born and she wasn't performing much. Shortly after the concert started, Phoebe stopped for a moment. She explained that she was having a hard day and knew she wasn't performing well. She apologized and asked us all to send some positive energy her way - knowing that our attention would ground her and help her to be in the moment with us. I'll never forget it...she was that real. And the concert was fantastic!
Of course Phoebe is best known for "Poetry Man." But its never been my favorite. Here are a few that I love.