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From the FUV Vault: Phoebe Snow

Dennis Elsas chooses Phoebe Snow as one of his favorite FUV Sessions.

Dennis Elsas chooses Phoebe Snow as one of his favorite FUV Sessions.



Phoebe Snow arrived on the music scene with her debut album in 1974, which contained the haunting song “Poetry Man.” Her beautiful voice was matched with impeccable production from Phil Ramone, and the song’s mysterious lyrics helped to establish her as a major new artist.

Though she never achieved another commercial hit quite as big, her stature as a musical performer and personality continued to grow. Everybody loved Phoebe and welcomed her to the stage and airwaves when she chose to perform.

It was a choice that wasn’t always easy for Phoebe. Her career often took a backseat to caring for her daughter Valerie, who was born in December 1975 with severe brain damage. Phoebe was determined to be her primary caregiver and continued to do that until Valerie’s death in March, 2007.

In October, 2007 she was just beginning to resume her career with a series of shows at New York’s Birdland club. I welcomed her to WFUV, joking that she could use our Studio A as a rehearsal stage as long as we could listen in. Phoebe was in great spirits, superb voice, and shared some wonderful stories with me -- including finally revealing exactly who that “Poetry Man” was.

Sadly, Phoebe passed away April 26, 2011, but her beautiful voice lives on in the wonderful recordings she left us, and in this very memorable studio session.

You can listen to it anytime in the WFUV Vault or in my personal archives.