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) http://www.skipofny.org, 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.