A Music Fan in the Electronic Age

by Virginia DeBolt, 1996

Singer, songwriter Phoebe Snow came to prominence in 1974 with her hit "Poetry Man" from her self-titled album.

As a fan, I was hooked on Phoebe from the first syllable I heard her sing. This is a fan site, created out of appreciation and admiration.

The first time I heard Phoebe Snow sing was in the 1970s. Driving home that day with my car pool pals, I snapped up in my seat and twisted the volume control on the radio. "Who's voice is that?" I said.

The driver said, "That's Phoebe Snow. The song is Poetry Man." She looked at me like I was the only fool in America who didn't know Poetry Man.

There are some singers, some voices, that jump inside and glue themselves to my nervous system. Hearing them is like getting a shoulder rub after a stressful day. All it takes is a couple of notes and I say, "Ahhh." Phoebe Snow's voice glued itself to me all those years ago, and it still thrills me today. And that's the problem.

You see, Phoebe hasn't recorded many albums over the years. She works in spurts: a group of albums in the 70s, a "best of" album, and then it's longing for more from forlorn fans. So, for years, it's been my musical detective act to tune in to the spots where Phoebe Snow could be heard. I have bought several albums I wouldn't have purchased just to get the one track with Phoebe doing a duet with Paul Simon, grooving down on a jazz number with Avenue Blue, or singing gospel with The Sisters of Glory. The late 90s have marked another burst of albums for Phoebe. In 1998 she came out with her first solo album in eight years. Her fans were delighted.

Remember when The Cosby Show became so successful that the oldest daughter's move to college spawned a new show? Phoebe sang the theme song for one lovely season. The second season, Aretha Franklin sang it. Drat! (Just kidding, I know Aretha's great, but she's easy to find.) Phoebe did a few commercials around the same time. To all those companies who advertised their products with Phoebe Snow's voice, thank you. She still can be heard on an occasional commercial.

I thought my life was doomed to this dribbling soprano ear-detective hunt for Phoebe Snow. Then I bought a modem and began to explore the internet. I discovered beautiful home pages for numerous performers.

Like the sleuth that I am, I searched for a Phoebe Snow home page.

I couldn't find one.

So I made one.

May it help others who long for the sound of Phoebe's high notes to learn where they can get a listen.