I hope you have time to view this clip of Phoebe Snow from an undated CBS Sunday Morning show. If not now, then come back to it later.
Until listening again to "Poetry Man'', Snow's mellow hit single from her 1974 debut album, I had forgotten how melodically seductive that voice could be. It was the voice Rolling Stone called "a natural wonder'' and the NY Times more technically described as "contralto grounded in a bluesy growl and capable of sweeeping over four octaves.''
Whatever. It was the voice of Phoebe Snow, and we had never heard anything like it. Still haven't, which is why that album ought to be in everyone's collection and played on occasions like today, Phoebe's 57th birthday.
I had also forgotten, or never knew, the moving story of her daughter, Valerie Rose, and in saying so admit that I never really knew the story of Phoebe Snow.
So check out the clip. And listen to that sweet album, and the revealing words to "Either Or'':
Sometimes this life
Gets so empty
That I become afraid
Then I remember you're in it
And I think
I might still
Have it made
Appropriately, we're running a 1975 Rolling Stone cover of Snow just two days after giving the same treatment to her good friend, Linda Ronstadt, who figures strongly in this story.