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By Catholic Online

4/26/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Jazz chanteuse dies at 60 after brain hemorrhage

The world remembers Phoebe Snow as the jazz singer who crooned "Poetry Man" back in 1975, a wistful song that always somehow makes the listener to forget their problems at hand to enjoy the tune in the moment. The reason why the world heard little afterwards from Snow was due in fact that she decided to take care of her disabled daughter after her husband left her shortly afterwards. Snow has died from complications from a brain hemorrhage - she was 60 years old.

At a time when many disabled children were sent to institutions, singer Phoebe Snow decided to keep her daughter Valerie Rose at home and care for the child herself.

At a time when many disabled children were sent to institutions, singer Phoebe Snow decided to keep her daughter Valerie Rose at home and care for the child herself.


By Catholic Online

Catholic Online (

4/26/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Music

Keywords: Phoebe Snow, disabled child, music business

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At a time when many disabled children were sent to institutions, Snow decided to keep her daughter Valerie Rose at home and care for the child herself. Snow abandoned music for a while and entered into ill-fated business decisions in the quest to stay solvent enough to take care of Valerie.

While caring for Valerie, her career took a turn for the worse. Inexperienced in the music business, she broke contracts with record companies and others and found herself embroiled in a number of lawsuits and severe financial problems.

"With my quick success, I didn't have time to learn the ropes of the music business," she told newspaper reporters. "Because my first record was such a hit, I was terribly spoiled and I thought I couldn't do anything wrong. I was also desperate to make tons of money because of my responsibility to my daughter. And there was no longer any joy in making music."

Snow never regretted her decision to focus on Valerie's care. Her daughter -- who was not expected to live beyond her toddler years, died in 2007 at the age of 31.

"She was my universe," Snow told a Web site at the time of her daughter's death. "She was the nucleus of everything. I used to wonder, am I missing something? No. I had such a sublime, transcendent experience with my child. She had fulfilled every profound love and intimacy and desire I could have ever dreamed of."

Snow returned to music in the 1980s and continued to perform in recent years. Snow suffered a stroke last year, bouts of blood clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure, said her manager, Sue Cameron.

"The loss of this unique and untouchable voice is incalculable," Cameron said. "Phoebe was one of the brightest, funniest and most talented singer-songwriters of all time and, more importantly, a magnificent mother to her late brain-damaged daughter, Valerie, for 31 years. Phoebe felt that was her greatest accomplishment."

Snow's most well known hit was "Poetry Man," which she wrote herself. The song, anchored by her husky voice and a fluid guitar, was a romantic ode to a married man. It reached the Top 5 on the pop singles chart in 1975, and garnered Snow a Grammy nomination for best new artist.


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