A solo artist, bluesy jazz singer and an incredible acoustic guitarist, who was one of my all time favorite song writers, has died today of a cerebral hemorrhage. Over the past year she suffered a stroke, bouts of clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Snow was in a coma until she died today at sixty years old.
Phoebe Snow was such an enormous part of identity in my late teens. All throughout my 20’s she was the voice of my generation, even today, it is hard to image the world without her. I first learned of her music when I heard the first recorded songs off of her highly celebrated album “Poetry Man.” That was back in 1975. What a sound she made when she sang! Snow had a growly voice that was unmistakably hers which she most likely developed as a result of a rare gift that she highly developed from years of voice lessons and other studies like operatic training she routinely participated in.
Snow’s life was not an easy one. At the age of 23 she married and in 1975 she gave birth to a baby girl. Her daughter Valerie Rose was severely brain-damaged and she only lived to the age of 31. Raising a child as a single parent was very difficult for her especially since her daughter was only given a prognosis of a few years to live. After her marriage terminated she was able to purchase her own record company. But, because of her loyalty to her daughter (she wanted to keep her from being institutionalized) she refused to tour which eventually cost her financial hardships leading to bankruptcy.
She really sacrificed for her daughter who died in 2008. The caretakers that she did hire to watch over Valerie Rose, she claimed did terrible things to her making it difficult for her to devote herself to recording and to going out on the road. In her later years her career really deteriorated. She struggled to regain her celebrity status but she was never really able to fully recover.
Some of Her Hits –
Let the Good Times Roll
Never Letting Go
It’s In His Kiss