Saturday, February 24, 2024

Phoebe Snow’s Pals Jam at a Memorial Tribute


The late great singer Phoebe Snow was memorialized beautifully this week at the Bitter End by her real friends and fans. Phoebe’s great pal May Pang organized a jam session with many of New York’s top session musicians, all of whom had played with Phoebe at some time in the last 35 years. There were cheers and toasts, with lovely ones from producer Russ Titelman, from May herself, talented vocalist Deena Miller, and Phoebe’s closest friends, the Sussman family. Alan St. Jon led the crack band, and there was a hot horn section —Wayne Cobham, Richie Cannata, Frosty Lawson–and backup singers like magnificent Elaine Caswell.

There was also much funk–which Phoebe loved–from covers of “Shaky Ground” to “Mississippi Queen” with the great Mountain drummer, Corky Laing and superior blues vocalist Josh Horton .

The event was organized to raise a little money for SKIP (Sick Kids Need Involved People), a group that helps terminally and developmentally disabled children. The whole thing was a joyfest for Phoebe from her real friends, and the people who cared about her before her untimely brain hemorrhage in January 2010.

There was plenty of talk about the “real” Phoebe–her crazy, fun beliefs in aliens, strange religions, messages from outer space, all of it. For a while, Phoebe even practiced psychometry and started getting “ready” from people’s jewelry. She did it once to Columbia Records boss Walter Yetnikoff and freaked him out. Singer-songwriter Drew Yowell told his dumplings/fat bastard story and got tears and laughs.  Everyone mentioned Phoebe’s smile, too, and her big laugh. Phoebe, the music keeps playing.And thanks to May Pang.

This weekend, download Phoebe singing “At Last.” It will change your life.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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