I was deeply saddened to learn of Phoebe Snow‘s death today. I was moved beyond measure by her devotion to her daughter, Valerie Rose, who was born with severe brain damage. Snow decided to care for her at home and not place her in an institution.
“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.”
The last time I saw Phoebe Snow was live at Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 12, 2007 where she sang “Lonely Ol’ Night” for John Mellencamp as part of his ASCAP Champion Awards event. She was so eloquent that evening in The Allen Room as she sang against the tapestry of the Columbus Circle panorama.
I see her holding Valerie Rose in heaven now as I wipe away tears in celebration of their blessed reunion.