Sunday, March 1, 2009

At Last : Phoebe Snow

When newly elected President Obama and his First Lady danced to their inaugural ball official song, "At Last" there followed a resurgent interest in the song Etta James, Beyonce & her new movie. As I understand it, Ms. James was not asked to perform her signature song. Rather Beyonce, now starring as Etta James in that movie, "Cadillac Records", was the chosen one. Ms. Knowles did a credible job but she could not touch the pathos of Etta James' version. Apparently, Ms. James agreed. She very publicly denounced the whole arrangement and Beyonce with it.

But, where, I wondered, was Phoebe Snow in all this? Phoebe Snow performed a magnificent rendition of this song at the NY Rock & Soul Revue @ the Beacon Theatre in 1991 I could listen to this over and over again. Unfortunately, I never hear her version played and there is now alot of opportunity for that.

"At Last" is suddenly the song of the day. It's in commercials for cars and a new floor care product, I think. It's everywhere! But not Phoebe's version.

Where did she go? What happened to this woman with a most powerful voice and delivery?

Today, CBS Sunday Morning did a feature on Phoebe Snow. She has, for many years, cared for her daughter, brain damaged at birth. According to the report, music industry power-that-be advised her to put her daugher in an institution in order to tour & stay current. This, she refused to do.

Her daughter passed away in 2007 and Phoebe Snow has been encouraged by her close friend, Linda Ronstadt, to return to music. She is now on tour and has maintained her magnificent voice. I am trying to find a url of her singing "At Last". So far, I've only found a very poor youtube video of the Beacon Theatre concert. If anyone can help me with the song itself, I'd love that.

Phoebe's back. At last.


Lover of Life said...

I just love that song. Don't really remember the Phoebe Snow version but would be interested if you find it.

Tanna said...

I don't remember Phoebe Snow either, but she certainly sounds like an interesting woman. Evan and I have been married going on eight years... we had Ella's version. So did my daughter and my son-in-law... We are fans! =)

Reya Mellicker said...

Phoebe Snow was one of my very favorites, though I'd forgotten her until you reminded me.

Thank you!!

Susan said...

I love Poetry Man by Phoebe. I found her version of At Last at:

Susan said...

Blogger cut off part of the URL, but you can just go to the site and put it in.


by Cole Scott