Last night I was doing my usual routine of listening to music on my iPhone as I drift off to sleep. I use my earbuds which aren’t the best but they’ll do for now. I would use my Sony MDR-7506 headphones but unfortunately just enough sound bleeds through to keep my wife awake.
Last night I chose to listen to Eva Cassidy’s album Songbird. It is certainly a wonderful album to listen to at the end of the day as you try to forget your problems and just relax and go to sleep.
Eva Cassidy was first brought to my attention by my friend who has turned me on to numerous great artists over the years. He mentioned her and played me some of her songs but I never took the time to really research her and buy any of her albums.
Then one night I decided to listen to an iTunes radio station just to see what new songs might come up in the rotation. Up to this point any time I was going to buy a new album I thought about buying an Eva Cassidy album but someone else always caught my attention and I kept putting it off.
So I’m lying in bed with my earbuds in listening to the iTunes radio and as usual after about three or four songs I nodded off to sleep.
I don’t know how long I had been asleep when I was gently awakened by this angelic voice. Honestly as I was rousing from my sleep my thought was “who is this angel singing to me?”
It was Eva Cassidy’s version of “Over the Rainbow”
I knew as soon as it was over and as I was removing my earbuds to go back to sleep that I was buying this album the next day.
If you are not familiar with Eva Cassidy she was a singer out of the Washington DC area who pretty much performed and recorded in general obscurity and was unknown to most outside of Washington DC until here premature death in 1996.
Four years later her version of “Fields of Gold” and “Over the Rainbow” were picked up by the BBC and played in the UK.
The recordings took off and became big in Europe. She sold over 10 million copies posthumously.
Both “Over the Rainbow” and “I Know You By Heart” can literally move me to tears. Sometimes when I’m shuffling through all my iTunes songs and either of those songs comes on I skip over them. It may not be the right time or place to experience the emotions of either of those songs.
Last night as I was lying in my bed listening to her album I started to think about the tragedy of her life. Such a wonderful talent and then gone after just thirty three years.
But through her recordings she is immortal. She will live on forever in her music.
When I listen to her sing she is not gone but very close. Her essence, her soul lives in these recordings and it is there with me when I listen.
Get this album. Listen to it and then compare it to anything you will hear at this year’s Grammys, the so called pinnacle of the music industry.
It makes me wonder how many more Eva Cassidy’s are out there and we will ever know them.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.