OTHER EVA-RELATED INFORMATION
This is the site's "Miscellaneous Page." Some of this information didn't fit neatly in any categories, but is pertinent to Eva Cassidy! It is an archive of material once found on "What's New."
OBSCURE CORNERS OF THE WEB SITE:March 18, 2004: There is now a "Soundtracks Page" for items about Eva's music used in radio, television, and film soundtracks.
Information about singer Katie Melua, and her connection to Eva Cassidy, can now be found on its own separate page.
POLL RESULTS: The tabulations of past Eva-related polls now have their own page.
Information about Eva Cassidy tributes by other performers has been moved here. Anything fairly recent would be on the "What's New" page for a while first.
Information about the auction of Eva's necklace, which raised £7,500 for the charity "Children in Need," is now found here with more details about how Eva made the beads.
I have made a special EVA CASSIDY I SVERIGE page. Eva has become very popular in Sweden, and there are quite a few articles including some interviews with Chris Biondo, as well as other quotes from earlier Swedish reviews.
Likewise, there is now a page calledEVA CASSIDY IN DENMARK.
Attention Guestbook Junkies: Do you want to read the earlier guestbook entries? The very first entries, from April 1999 to December 29, 2001, can be read here. These are now in chronological order. It's a very big file spread out over five or more pages.
Follow this link for the special Christmas treat and information about Eva's few recordings of Christmas songs!
More information about Grace Griffith, a wonderful singer who is an important part of Eva's story, is available here. The page includes photos from a concert in September, 2003.
EVA QUIZZESEVA QUESTIONS: How much do you know about Eva and her music? There are three quizzes to tantalize and perplex you. (Note that the "free quiz service" may have some advertisements which you may feel free to ignore.)
- Test yourself with the Eva Cassidy Quiz. The 20 questions are actually pretty difficult, but all the answers can be found on my website. Good luck!
- If that seemed too easy, try the Eva Experts Quiz. It's shorter, but really really REALLY hard!! Note: I have discovered that in order to be listed in the "top ten," it is necessary to give a name and e-mail address. I don't care if you use a real one or a fake one -- it's a software constraint. Congratulations to the most recent top scorers: Andy, Chris, Dee, Eric, Henrik, Jenny, Jess, Jørn, Margot, Paul, Rachel, Sheri and Sherri have received perfect scores during the past year or so.
- Hardest Questions: The "Eva Cassidy Listener's Quiz" is so fiendishly difficult, I think I only know one or two people who could possibly get 100% the first time through. It will be a particular challenge to all you audiophile hotshots! Good luck, have fun, and if you have to spend some time listening carefully to your Eva albums, that's all to the good. (No gloating if you get a good score, though. Let's be civilized.)
INTERESTING EVA-RELATED PEOPLE AND PLACES:HILTON FELTON, 1947-2007 Today's Washington Post carries the sad news of the death of pianist and organist Hilton Felton. A well-known local piano room artist and jazz bandleader, he also worked with Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers and appears on some of Eva Cassidy's recordings. His bio on his web page mentions his connection with Eva: "One of his proudest recordings is his organ work on Golden Thread with the late vocalist Eva Cassidy whom he greatly admired." **UPDATE: I asked Chris Biondo to tell me a little more about Hilton Felton and Eva. He told me, "He was a sweet, sweet man. I met him when he came in to play organ on one of Chuck Brown's songs, and I got his phone number. Eva wanted Hammond organ on 'Golden Thread' so we called him up. I think all the organ accompaniment on that song is all first-take stuff, and we added the organ solo later. Later we brought him back again to record organ parts for the two Chuck-and-Eva Christmas songs. After that Eva did a New Year's Eve gig with him at the club where he played on Pennsylvania Avenue -- he had a trio and invited her to be the vocalist. Eva really liked him." (Updated February 19, 2007)
REMEMBERING PAUL WALTERS: Terry Wogan's morning program opened today with Eva's "Over the Rainbow" as a tribute to his late producer. Joe writes, "Well it just had to be Eva who was first to be played by Terry this morning - would have been no other I guess. After a very affectionate tribute to Paul from Terry - all the songs this morning are dedicated to Paul. Once Eva sang Over the Rainbow - Terry spoke about Eva and how Paul had introduced Eva to the British public - the rest as they say is history."
Steve in York directs us to the comment page on the BBC web site: "Did you see how many people have stated their indebtedness to Paul Walters for introducing them to Eva Cassidy? I set my browser to search for the string 'Eva' then lost count of the number of matches it found." Steve also tells me that Bob Harris closed his Saturday night program with Eva's "Fields of Gold" in honor of Paul Walters.
Pat reminds me that I have Paul Walters to thank for my proud possession of a "BBC Radio Two" shirt. (Yes, I did thank him at the time too!) Pat writes, "It was with great sadness tonight that I heard about the passing of Pauly (Dr Wally) Walters.... As you know he is an integral part of the 'Eva Story' as well as being a brilliant character in his own right. Sir Terry described him today as 'the best programmer in the world' ...who would argue?? Terry added, 'To know Paul Walters was to love him. His character was in his smile.' I well remember contacting him and his immediate warm reaction and instantly sorting out a 'TOG sweat shirt' for you.... I am picturing his mischievous smile on meeting Eva and him probably saying something like... 'Now I can hear you for real.' Rest well Pauly and thanks for your talent and insight... you will be missed...."
(The little photo above is of Paul Walters with the "Songbird" silver disc presented to him in thanks for his support of Eva's music, back in 2001) (Added October 23, 2006)
SAD NEWS: From the BBC web site: "Paul Walters, long-time producer of Sir Terry Wogan's Radio 2 breakfast show, has died in hospital aged 59 following a long illness." Those of you who have followed the "Eva story" for a long time are aware that, as Les writes, "Paul Walters was an incredibly important link in the chain that led Terry Wogan to play Eva on UK radio." Our thoughts are with the Walters family at this sad time. (October 21, 2006)
To my immense sorrow I learned that Susanne Millsap passed away earlier this month (November 2006). Susanne was a big fan of Eva's music and probably played more of Eva's songs on her show than any other U.S. radio announcer.
From her obituary in the Salt Lake Tribune: Susanne S. Millsaps 1953 ~ 2006 One of the great women of this world, Susanne Millsaps, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on October 20, 2006. The bleeding was a consequence of her valiant 23 1/2 month struggle with metastatic breast cancer. Although she lived most of her adult life in Salt Lake City, she always showed her New York roots in her direct ways and her willingness to actively challenge injustice or inhumanity...." Susanne was the host of a folk radio program called the "Thursday Breakfast Jam" on KRCL in Salt Lake City for thirteen years. Her husband Grant writes on the Magpie House Concerts web site, "She was one of the bright angels of our world, and it is dimmer without her. We all have to shine brighter to make up the difference."
KENT WOOD, 1967-2005: Chris Biondo wrote the following in the Guestbook on January 2, 2006:
I just received the sad news that Kent Wood died in a car accident on New Year’s Eve. Kent was a great friend of Eva’s. He played keyboards when Eva and Chuck Brown played together, and played on the very first Eva Cassidy band gig in front of the Willard Hotel in the summer of 1990. He played piano for Eva when she sang “What a Wonderful World” at her Bayou tribute concert. He cried when he heard that Eva was dying. Kent’s keyboard work can be heard on “The Christmas Song” duet with Chuck, the synth horn arrangement on “I Could Have Told You So”, the organ on “Wade in the Water” and the electric piano on “Wayfaring Stranger”. He was in the studio when she sang “Blues in the Night” and convinced her to try a more powerful take on the vocals, which pushed her to sing like she never had before. Kent also helped me finish Eva’s music after she died. He was one of the best musicians I ever knew.
Kent Wood was best known for his keyboard and vocal work with the go-go groups EU ("Experience Unlimited," which was seen and heard in the Spike Lee film "School Daze") and Rare Essence. Many thanks to Rare Essence for permission to reproduce this photo.
"I WANT THE MUSIC TO BE ALL EVA": Recently a family friend, Dorlyn Williams, passed away after a long struggle with cancer. As a neighbor of Eva's grandmother and aunt, Dorlyn knew Eva and often heard her perform. When Dorlyn's own cancer was diagnosed, she didn't listen to Eva's music for a long time, but in her last week of life she sent her husband to find those Eva Cassidy CDs. She also gave instructions for the music to be played at the reception following her memorial service: "I want the music to be all Eva, all the time." (April 2007)
NEW ALBUM OF SONGS BY STEVEN DIGMAN: If you are a fan of the Steve Digman songs "Anniversary Song," "Say Goodbye," and "Easy Street Dream," you will be interested in this new CD of Digman songs from Maryland singer Janine Davy. The album is entitled LOOKING FOR YOU. Janine is a terrific and versatile singer who deserves to be better known. Like Eva, she comes from a musical family and is skilled in backup harmonies as well as lead vocals in a variety of styles. Members of the former Eva Cassidy Band played on the album, which was recorded by Chris Biondo. For more information, visit this page on Digman's web site. It is available to buy on CD Baby. or search for it on Amazon.com (United States). The critic Jonathan Widran writes in the "All Music Guide," Because she's from Maryland and working on her stunning, multi-faceted pop/rock/blues flavored debut with some of the members of the Eva Cassidy's band--including Chris Biondo, who produced half of these tracks--there's no doubt that this powerful and excitingly versatile indie vocalist will rate comparisons to the late D.C. based singer who inspired a posthumous phenomenon. Yet that would be a bit unfair because it's clear that Davy--a self-described working mom from Southern Maryland--has no problems carving out her own niche. Most of the originals--from the heartfelt "How Much Longer…" to the rousing roadhouse clapalong "Happy Hour," the graceful, country tinged "Valentines on Christmas Day" and the jazzy fingersnapper "Happy Love Song"--were written by the versatile songwriter Steven Digman (whose songs have been covered by, among others, Katie Melua). Digman clearly understands the many ways Davy can express herself; she can express powerful emotion with just the right subtlety and she can rock and wail when the mood calls for it. Not that she truly needs them to blow listeners away, but Davy is equally brilliant on covers of "Love Hurts" (with just her own flute and guitar accompaniment), a sizzling "Oh! Darling" and a slightly ambient arrangement of "Superstition." As emotionally overwhelming as Davy and her debut are, her varied musical styles may pose a problem for a narrowminded music industry--the same problem Cassidy once had. Hopefully, discriminating listeners won't worry so much about categorization and will discover this amazing yet seasoned new talent. Songwriter Steven Digman tells me, "If you would like to see her on television she will be on Maryland Public Television, Artworks This Week - featuring pianist Lenny Williams - Wednesday, August 9th, 7:30 PM, and then as a follow up she will be performing at Borders Books & Music in Rockville Maryland on Saturday, August 19th." (Added January 26, 2006; updated July 20, 2006; Updated again July 24, 2006.)
FOR POETS AND HIKERS: An excellent 1978 article by Eva's grandmother, Clara Cassidy, is now available on the Internet. This is from the Mother Earth News, entitled "Preserve Your Memories, Oriental Style."
JAZZ BASS LEGEND KETER BETTS DIES AT 77: Keter (rhymes with Peter) Betts passed away this past weekend at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. Today's Washington Post contains an eloquent article about Keter Betts, written by Richard Harrington. "Jazz elevated Keter Betts to worldwide renown of his own and he in turn elevated everyone fortunate enough to be around him." Best known for his long partnership with Ella Fitzgerald, the name of Keter Betts will be familiar to Eva Cassidy fans from the musician credits on THE OTHER SIDE, because he played on "I Could Have Told You So" and "You Don't Know What Love Is." It was Chuck Brown who brought Keter to the project, recalls Chris Biondo: "Chuck and Keter go back a long way." Keter was also one of the many participants in the Eva Cassidy Tribute Concert at the Bayou. On that occasion he performed with Eva's friend Meg Murray. "Keter loved the way Eva sang 'Blues in the Night,'" Biondo recalls. "He told me that the test of a good singer was whether or not she could hit the bridge in that song. He thought Eva nailed it." In 1994 Keter Betts was inducted into the "WAMA Hall of Fame." (Added August 9, 2005)
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Doing very well indeed! Those of you who have read my interview with Chris Biondo know that he and former Eva Cassidy Band keyboardist Lenny Williams work together composing music for television documentaries. I just learned that Williams-Biondo has been nominated for an Emmy Award for their work on the National Geographic Explorer documentary, "Haunt of the Hippo." The awards will be presented on September 10, 2002, in New York City.
I asked Chris for more information on "Haunt of the Hippo." "It's pretty riveting," he said of the documentary. He doesn't really expect they'll win, however: "We're up against the dung beetle." If you're interested in hearing a Williams-Biondo soundtrack, Chris recommends watching "Hornets from Hell" which will be televised on the Sunday before Halloween, in October 2002. He says it might be the best score they've done. The hornet program is another in the National Geographic Explorer series on MSNBC.
**UPDATE: They WON the Emmy! Congratulations, Lenny and Chris! Eva would be so proud of you both.
***ANOTHER UPDATE: Williams and Biondo (Lenny and Chris to us Eva fans) won their second Emmy in the fall of 2003 for "Hornets from Hell." Their third Emmy was awarded in September 2005 for "On Thin Ice." The fourth, "Deadly Love," also from the National Geographic Explorer series, was given in September 2006.
The Washington Area Music Association has been very supportive of Eva's career. WAMA is the organization that gives out the WAMMIE awards, which are the Washington DC area "local Grammies." Eva received many Wammies in her short career, including "Best Vocalist" in the categories of jazz, folk, and blues, several awards for "Album of the Year," and "Artist of the Year." The WAMA also inducted Eva into their Washington Music Hall of Fame. When she was selected to perform at the Wammie awards ceremony in 1994, she was virtually unknown even in the city of her birth. At the ceremony, the ballroom was crowded and noisy; nobody was paying much attention to the performers, and when petite Eva Cassidy came onto the stage alone, carrying her guitar, one spectator muttered to himself, "Good luck, lady." Eva sat down and sang "Over the Rainbow." In an instant the room was silent. Nobody had heard anything like it before. That was Eva's real introduction to the Washington music community. (For more about this performance, visit the "Over the Rainbow" page.
Radio airplay of Eva's music in the United States has been primarily from folk music programs. The folk DJ's contact one another and share recommendations and playlists through a mailing list at Folkradio.org. You can search their archives to see who is playing Eva's music in what cities. Some of the radio DJ's I'd like to thank on Eva's behalf, who were among the first to play her music in this country, are Robin Young (WBOS), Vin Scelsa (WNEW), Clytia Fuller (KZSC), Richard Fox (WCUW), Susanne Millsaps (KRCL), Susan Forbes Hansen (WFCR, WHUS), Judy Rose (Wisconsin Public Radio), Paul Porzio (WEBR), Stacy Bernard (KDHX), Bob Blackman (WKAR), Bob McWilliams (KANU), Tani Chen (WMBR), Chris Darling in Maine, Sonny Ochs, and stations WPFW, WERI, WPLM, WUNC, and KFAI. Also the marvelous Mary Cliff of WETA-FM in Eva's home city, Washington DC!
Dec. 2001: The jazz club BLUES ALLEY now has its own website. They have some very nice Blues Alley T-shirts, coffee mugs, towels, and other items that might make a special present for any Eva Cassidy fans on your gift list.
UPDATE ABOUT BLUES ALLEY: Dan in the UK writes in the Guestbook (early 2003), "As the Live at Blues Alley album is my favourite, I went on to the Blues Alley website. Imagine my horror that Eva was not mentioned once on any of the pages. I immediately sent off an email to the webmaster, and in my best stiff upper lip English way, asked why she was not mentioned and the fact that as an Englishman I take it as an insult, that she is not. The webmaster, obviously realising that he had a strange 'Limy' on his hands, immediately put her name on the site. Please click onto www.bluesalley.com and look on the history page, it only says her name along with some of the greats of jazz, but at least now she is mentioned. May I thank the Blues Alley webmaster for his incredibly fast reaction to my complaint. I am impressed. I am also quite proud that I have righted a wrong for Eva." Well done, Dan and the Blues Alley webmaster both!
The landscape nursery where Eva worked for many years in the "woody plants department," Behnke's, has been a Washington-area family business since 1930.
The artist for whom Eva painted murals during her last summer, Margaret Haven, now has her own website. "Haven Studios specializes in original murals, decorative finishes, paintings and stained glass windows."
EVA PHOTOS: Eva's friend Mark Merella has a couple of photos of Eva on his website. They're near the top. Some of Eva's other friends from Bowie, and her brother Dan Cassidy, can be seen on there too.
The Cassidy Clan web site is devoted to the history of that clan. A lovely profile of Eva can be found on this part of the site, featuring her and other well-known people with the surname Cassidy.
Eva's birthday is February 2nd, which in the United States is "Groundhog Day." Eva is included in the "Groundhogs Hall of Fame" website. Thank you to Groundhog Richard Fox for this information.
RELIGIOUS THEMESEVA MENTIONED IN A CHURCH SERVICE: The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington, in New York, featured Eva's recording of "What a Wonderful World" at the beginning of their service. The Reverend Beth Graham's opening words: 'Luckily, there are moments in our lives when we do notice what a wonderful world we have around us. There are moments when we notice the “people passing by” or the “babies crying” and when “we watch them grow.” There are moments when we notice “friends shaking hands,” and all else about which Eva Cassidy just sang. Moments such as these can certainly uplift our spirits. But they can also break our hearts, since we know that all of this that is so precious, is so beloved, will one day be lost. When I hear someone like Eva Cassidy sing this song – a voice so beautiful and a version so plaintive – Eva Cassidy, a singer who died too young from cancer – when I hear her breath and voice remind us of the world’s wonder, my heart leaps up… and it breaks in two. How do we hold both these truths inside us, at once? How do we notice and navigate through the world’s gifts – how do we not take them for granted – while also not becoming paralyzed with the knowledge that one day we will not be part of it? In other words, how do we fall in love with the world while knowing one day we will leave it behind?' This took place in 2003. Many thanks to Doug in Pennsylvania for this link. (Added October 25, 2004)
4/25/2001 "Are You Like Eva? Romans 12:6-8" Whether you are a religious person or not, there is wisdom in this essay from Tommy Kiedis of the Palm Beach Community Church.
Doug in Pennsylvania must know about a terrific search engine that I've never used, because he keeps sending me interesting new Eva-related items. This one is from the Texas Baptists Newsletter. It's a lovely essay called "Touched by an Angel," by the executive director, David R. Currie. (Lest you see the words "Texas Baptist" and cringe, envisioning a ranting fundamentalist extremist, let me assure you that he is not one of those, and the essay is worth reading.)
Here's an interesting posting from "devolution_devolution" to the Yahoo Club that discusses Eva: "I was browsing this evening, and found this curious, but nonetheless interesting 'study guide' on Songbird. It seems to be some kind of Christian Study group, which has 'exams' of some kind - looks like Eva's on the curriculum wherever they are!"
Eva's story inspires another religious essayist, Blaine Smith of Nehemiah Ministries. "What has happened in these intervening years defies every principle of marketing and commercial success known to humankind, and it defies the most optimistic imagination.... I see Cassidy's case as a highly dramatic and extreme example of a dynamic that we each experience in our own lives, if we don't allow ourselves to lose heart too easily...."
Here's yet another, "A Voice That Lingers On," by Phil Ware, which was inspired by hearing Eva sing "Fields of Gold."
Songwriter Steven Digman writes, "Never thought 'Easy Street Dream' and Eva Cassidy would be mentioned in a Baptist Sermon, but here it is: http://www.wilshirebc.org/sermons/2004archives/032804.htm.
"EVA MENTIONS" IN BOOKSEVA IS MENTIONED IN MORE BOOKS: December 2004: A search on Amazon.com today turned up more instances where Eva Cassidy was mentioned in books. Here is a sampling: In the novel "Brass" by Helen Walsh (described by Amazon as "chick-lit noir") comes the sentence "A tall redhead offers me some Scouse from a big pan. Eva Cassidy purrs from a lone speaker which sits on a bookshelf bursting with ravaged books." From the thriller "Rain Storm" by Barry Eisler, 'I paused for a minute, and listened to Eva Cassidy doing "Autumn Leaves," the lyrics and the melody the more poignant by virtue of the singer's untimely death.' In On page 132 of "Blackthorn Winter" by Sarah Challis, a character "sorted through the tapes Anthony kept in the car, discarding most of them, and slotted an Eva Cassidy album into the player." In "The Impartial Recorder: A Novel," by Ian Sansom, a female character turns 'on her personal stereo all the way up to 12, in order to drown herself in "Fields of Gold" with Eva Cassidy.' Christian Thompson's mystery series novel "Sing No Sad Songs" makes reference to "... a plan to buy some booze and fags and just wallow in it. I would listen to a tape of Eva Cassidy when I got home and I would probably hug the cat too hard and make it run off."
In non-fiction, vocal coach Susan Anders mentions Eva Cassidy's vocal technique more than once in her book "The No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout, Vol. Two": "Other singers, like Marvin Gaye, Al Green, early Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, and Eva Cassidy, smoothly swoop from head to chest register without a bump."
According to book critic Michael Dirda of the Washington Post, a recently-published fiction anthology is "dedicated to the great and greatly versatile singer Eva Cassidy and the much-missed artist Susan Davis, along with four other Washington women who died young." The anthology, edited by Richard Peabody, is entitled Grace and Gravity: Fiction by Washington Area Women (Paycock; paperback, $14.95). Dirda comments, "There are more than 30 stories in this hefty paperback, but nearly all of them possess a brash swagger and sexiness that may surprise. Isn't Washington supposed to be staid? This volume is not only an important showcase but also a lot of fun." (Added December 4, 2004)
EVA MENTION IN A BOOK: Lucy writes, "I was led to Eva thru a novel I read. Its title is "Breaking Her Fall" and it was written by Stephen Goodwin. It feels like the book was almost written as a way to share Eva with the rest of us. It is set in D.C., and refers to Eva several times, in fact the song Over the Rainbow is given to one of the characters to help her heal from a tragedy.... It's a very emotional book, but one I recommend. " (Summer 2004)
EVA MENTION IN A THRILLER: Today I was reading A Hard Ticket Home, an excellent thriller/mystery by Edgar award-winning author David Housewright. On page 173 the protagonist is driving home after a tense confrontation with a gang of arms dealers. "I leaned back against the seat and closed my eyes, waiting for my nerves to quiet themselves, breathing deep, exhaling slowly. Eva Cassidy was on the CD player. I thought her exquisite voice would help. It took both her and Ella Fitzgerald." (Summer 2004)
MORE EVA MENTIONS IN BOOKS: Stephanie writes, "I've noticed Eva's name in two recently published books. The first is James Patterson's newest work, 'Sam's Letters To Jennifer', on page 147: 'The fireflies traced cursive neon letters in the night air as I tossed salad and Brendan put the steaks on the grill. There was a CD player in the guest house, and soon Eva Cassidy was remembering the night as only she can. Brendan asked me to dance. I took his hand and immediately felt the bloodrush to my head... Simple as this was I loved it. Eva was followed by Sting...'
Patterson must really be a fan. This is his second book that speaks of Eva. Next I read Susan Wiggs' story, 'Summer By The Sea.' She mentions Eva on page 172:
"..."I'll be back."
"You're not invited."
"Like that's going to stop me." She gave him a quick hug and got into the car. With the stereo blaring an Eva Cassidy tune, she pulled out of the driveway.'" (Added Fall 2004)
August 2003: Suzanne writes, 'I was recently reading a Harlequin Romance by Caroline Anderson that mentions Eva. The book is named "The Baby Bonding". The author is from Suffolk. She is mentioned in the third chapter, the male lead character is a doctor who is in his study. The paragraph is below.' Thanks, Suzanne (and thanks to Caroline Anderson, too)! Here's the quote.
"There was an Eva Cassidy album in the CD player, and he pressed the 'play' button, dropped into a corner of the sofa and closed his eyes with a grunt of relief. The day was officially over. When he could be bothered he'd get up and go pour himself a glass of wine, but for now he was content just to sit and listen to Eva's soft, haunting voice filtering through the speakers, and do nothing."
UPDATED: Lynne in Sacramento writes, "Eva Cassidy is mentioned in a book that I am reading. The book is Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook, an author who lives in Scituate, MA. She refers to Eva Cassidy's version of 'Cheek to Cheek' on page 174. The book is hilarious, by the way." UPDATE: I recently heard from the author of the novel, who had heard about my website from Lynne. Claire Cook says, "I've been a fan of Eva's music since Robin Young's WBOS days, when she introduced the Boston area to Eva and her amazing voice, so filled with heart and hope. I can remember driving along on the way to a meeting, tears streaming down my face and running my mascara, the first time I heard her sing 'Fields of Gold.' Later that day, I went online and ordered everything she'd ever recorded that I could get my hands on. I hoped mentioning Eva singing 'Cheek to Cheek' in MUST LOVE DOGS might help a few more people discover her. The novel, by the way, is doing so well -- it was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers book, as well as a Booksense 76 fiction pick, and Viking (an imprint of Penguin Putnam) has gone back to press three times just to meet orders! (There has been quite a bit of interest in the screen rights, so maybe someday I'll be in a position to suggest Eva's recordings be used in that capacity.)" **UPDATE 2005: A movie was made from this book, but Eva was not in the soundtrack.
April 2004: Mike W. writes, 'On page 44 in the new James Patterson book 3rd Degree, the protagonist - a homicide lieutenant - goes to visit a friend (an assistant DA): "An Eva Cassidy CD was playing lightly in the background." Patterson is one of the current blockbuster authors - maybe someone new will check out Eva because of this.'
SKATING, DANCING, TWIRLING, ETC.:EVA'S MUSIC ACCOMPANIES DANCER ON FOX PROGRAM: Sheri in Northern California writes, 'Eva's rendition of "Fields of Gold" was featured tonight [June 28, 2007] on the show "So You Think You Can Dance". One of the dancers used it as their music for their dance routine. It's an American show in its third season. It's on the Fox network, from some of the people that do American Idol. Eva's song was used in last night's result show. There are 3 couples with the least amount of votes. Those 3 couples dance as individuals (6) in their own style of dance for a short routine. The judges then deliberate and kick 1 guy and 1 girl off the show. Whenever a dance routine (whether as a couple or individual) is performed on the show, they show the name of the song and artist being used for that routine. Eva's rendition of "Fields of Gold" was used by one of the girls in the bottom 3 during her individual dance routine. She was the last girl to go and the routine was about 30 or 40 seconds."
UPDATE: Mike in Syracuse was watching the program and sent me more information. 'So You Think You Can Dance on Fox Network was on Thursday 6/28 from 9-10PM EST. The competitors with the lowest TV audience votes had to compete for an elimination from the competition by the judges. Anya Garnis did her dance solo to Eva Cassidy’s “Fields of Gold.” On the screen during her performance Eva Cassidy’s name and the song name were graphically inserted. Anya is the judges favorite, if not the TV voters favorite this week, and was voted through by the judges after this dance-off. Anya is originally from Russia and is a ballroom dancer from New York City.'
Information about skaters Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi, Sarah Hughes and Kimmie Meissner, who have all skated to Eva Cassidy's music, can be found on separate pages (click on their names).
"DANCING ON ICE" TO EVA'S "OVER THE RAINBOW": Olympic gold medalist ice dancing team Torvill and Dean have been participating in a British reality television program called "Dancing on Ice." On a recent program they skated to Eva's recording of "Over the Rainbow." This performance will be included on a forthcoming "Dancing on Ice" DVD. (Spring 2007)
EVA'S MUSIC IS POPULAR WITH 'WINTER GUARDS': What is a "Winter Guard," you ask? It's what the flag corps and color guard of a marching band do during the off-season. Instead of performing with the band, they apparently use recordings. And some of them are Eva's! Here is my archive page about color guards. The Collins Hill High School Winter Guard in Georgia had a very successful 2005 season performing to Eva's recording of "I Know You By Heart." Deryl Colson, former director of the Collins Hill Winter Guard, explains his song choice: 'I chose the song "I Know You By Heart" because I wanted to dedicate this show to the memory of my relationship with the guard. If you listen to the words of the song, it talks about someone being there and then being gone. I was at Collins Hill for 10 years. I wanted the guard to know that even though I would no longer be there that they would forever have a place in my heart. I know that this sounds kind of sappy, but I invested a large chunk of my emotional well-being to that program. There are very few days that go by when I do not think about the color guard. Needless to say, I cared a great deal about these young ladies. They were like my children. So leaving the program was a very difficult decision, and I needed a song that would let them know that even in my absence that I still loved them.' The show was discribed on the band's web site: 'The soundtrack, performed by Eva Cassidy, takes the audience on a journey through the four seasons. The show itself is designed around the colors of autumn, such as the floor (the shape of a leaf), the uniforms (velvety brown), and the opening flag (browns, oranges, and golds). Winter is introduced through the use of rifle (white). Spring and summer are combined, using a beautiful multi-colored flag in the show's closing flag feature. As the flag moment continues, the audience begins to realize that the song is not only about the seasons, but about a love that is eventually lost. The performers drastically change their performance emotion, from bright happiness to utter and deep sadness and loss. The show finishes as it begins, and a soloist completes the idea of the lost love with a colorless flag, symbolizing the emptiness that is left behind.'
MORE WINTER GUARDS: The award-winning Central Crossing High School Winter Guard in Grove City, Ohio, performed to Eva's "Way Beyond the Blue" in 2005 and her "Ain't No Sunshine" in 2007. Also in 2005, a group called "Deep Purple" in the United Kingdom has performed to Eva's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." In 2004 the "Winterguard" team at Stephenville High School won top honors (the division championship) for their dance routine, performed to Eva Cassidy’s recording of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Another 2004 show was "Fields of Gold" performed by the guard at Chantilly High School in Virginia. Also in 2004, Extreme Independent Winter Guard in Oklahoma "utilized music by Eva Cassidy [not specified] and ended in an all-white flag feature." The McNeil High School Winter Guard in Texas performed to Eva's "Songbird" in 2003. Indiana's North Putnam High School's group featured Eva's "Over the Rainbow" in 2003. The same year, the Independence Winter Guard in Illinois performed to "Fields of Gold," andin Minnesota the Eden Prairie High School guard used Eva's recording of "The Letter." The "Senators" of Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK, have performed or will perform to "Cheek to Cheek" (as well as John Cage's 4'33'!?!?!). In 2002, Thurrock Academy Performance Ensemble performed to Eva’s version of "Over the Rainbow": "the guard took their 2nd British title to a standing ovation." In 2001, a Winterguard called "Myriad of Colors" at Indiana University Southeast , performed 'ensemble of “Heart of All Seasons,” by Eva Cassidy at their competitions, portraying love and how it changes.' Can't tell what song or songs they used. Also in the "mystery" category is the LaPorte High School's guard, which apparently did some sort of Eva-related show sometime. I'll add more information to this list as it becomes available. (Added Oct. 27, 2005, updated December 13, 2005)
2004: HARD TO VISUALIZE? Another item gleaned from the oh-so-useful Google News: The South Bend [Indiana] Tribune reported on April 21st, 2004, that champion baton twirler Laureen Foulks will soon be competing in the World Baton Twirling Championships in Osaka, Japan. 'Laureen's routine is done to an Eva Cassidy rendition of the classic song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow,"' writes reporter Ken Bradford. Wow, I'd love to see a videotape of that one. Laureen is fourteen and has been twirling since she was three. **UPDATE: September 2004: Laureen wrote in the Guestbook, " Hi, This is Laureen Foulks. I am now 15 and just recently got back from the World baton twirling chapionship which were in Osaka, Japan, which I placed 7th over all." Well done, Laureen!
April 2004: The "Winterguard" team at Stephenville High School recently won top honors (the division championship) for their dance routine, performed to Eva Cassidy’s recording of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” The Stephenville Empire Tribune explains, "The SHS Winterguard is an extension of the Colorguard, a marching band-affiliated performance group. They differ from other dance teams in their use of props, such as rifles and flags."
From Doug in PA : "In the Michelle Kwan vein : a post within the Ladyslipper bulletin boards states that Eva's 'Wade in the Water is used by the NYC Alvin Ailey dance school/troupe. Among its alumni : Madonna." (date unknown)
Oct. 2001: More Eva dance routines: Children and college students.
DANCING TO "FIELDS OF GOLD": Sting and Snow Records seem to be a hitherto-unsuspected subgenre of record producers, specializing in music for square dancing! (As far as I can tell, there is no connection with the songwriter known as Sting.) Among their new vinyl releases for January 2005 is a version of "Fields of Gold" for square dancing, recorded by German singer/caller Thorsten Geppert. "This record, written and recorded by Sting (that's the guy from the Police, in case you're not sure) was a terrific success when it was first released. Although the version that really caught my ear was the one recorded by the most talented Eva Cassidy. Thorsten Geppert, who recorded the vocal on this song, recognised its potential for Square Dance-ification and -- after discussions -- we agreed that the song should receive the best of both versions (Sting and Eva Cassidy) treatment.... Possibly the prettiest song we have released -- one of my favourites," writes producer Paul Bristow. I listened to a sound clip at the bottom of this press release about Thorsten Geppert, but I couldn't really hear any Eva influence. It was fun to hear, though!
THIS WEEKEND: MORE CHOREOGRAPHY TO EVA'S MUSIC: Maggie Mudd writes, 'I am a dance major at Point Park, and I am taking part in the Tomorrow's Choreographers performance at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, a nationally credited theatre. I have chosen "People Get Ready" as the music for my dance piece. The song moves me to dance, and I had no choice but to choreograph to it. Before rehearsals started I held a meeting with my cast of dancers where I read them the story of Eva Cassidy and her life's work, as well as show them some of her artwork. I feel there are good people sent to this earth with purposes unknown to us as humans. Eva Cassidy had a purpose, and she has sparked something in me. Her voice brings me to life, and I wanted to bring her voice to life through my dance. (December 2004)
EVA'S "OVER THE RAINBOW" IN DANCE RECITAL: Thirteen-year-old Heather in England writes, "Shelby Dance Academy's senior lyrical class performed a beautiful routine to Eva's 'Somewhere over the rainbow' in the annual show. The show was great and I enjoyed it but that dance stands out as one of the best. A little was mentioned about Eva and her tragic death before the dance." (Added November 3, 2004)
DANCING TO "EASY STREET DREAM": The Lamar Dance Company at Lamar University in Texas has drawn upon Eva's recording of Steven Digman's song "Easy Street Dream" for artistic inspiration. According to the Lamar News, "The Lamar Dance Company will present its fall dance concert on Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Julie Rogers Theatre in downtown Beaumont. The concert will showcase a variety of styles of dance including ballet, modern dance and jazz. Lamar Dance Company will present works by this semester’s company director, faculty member Alice Howes, [including] “Easy Street Dream,” a suite of three dances on the trials of love performed to soulful voice of Eva Cassidy.... The concert will feature Lamar faculty and advanced students, many of whom worked on the choreography." (Added October 25, 2004)
More choreography inspired by Eva's music: Ryan Stevens, the artistic director of Intensity Dance in Halifax, Nova Scotia, recently wrote to tell me about his work set to Eva's recording of "Fields of Gold." "One of my signature pieces as a dancer is 'Fields of Gold,' which I have received praise for from local media and standing ovations from from audiences at shows in which I've performed it, which include Nova Dance Studio's 2002 Spring Showcase, Pride In Performance's Gay Cabaret and The Atlantic Fringe Festival presentation of Intensity Dance's 2002 Showcase. You can find out more about my work, if interested, at our website http://intensity.cjb.net and sign up for our listserve to find out about future presentations of 'Fields of Gold.' Kudos on the great website and thanks for sharing in the love of Eva's music and vision." How wonderful! Eva would love the idea that her music is inspiring other forms of creativity. One phrase on the Intensity Dance website might especially resonate with Eva Cassidy fans: "We are a proud member of Artists Against Oppression, a local artists collective committed to promoting art in the community and fighting the oppression independent artists face because they are doing what they do best in their own way."
DANCE WITH EVA: March 2004: Another dance ensemble, the Robert Ivey Ballet in Charleston, SC, has found inspiration in Eva's music. Dottie Ashley writes in the Post and Courier, 'The concert, which featured eight numbers, opened with "Currents," choreographed by Brooke Caldwell and danced by seven women who moved to the rock hymn "Wade in the Water," sung by Eva Cassidy. The women executed floor rolls, graceful arm movements and controlled kicks and spins. It was a fun piece, if not exactly challenging.'
UNCATEGORIZABLE ITEMS:DUET IMPOSSIBLE: Singer Katie Melua performs a duet with a videotape of Eva singing "Over the Rainbow" as part of a British television program called "Duet Impossible." The program will be shown on BBC1 on Christmas Eve at 5.45pm. If you follow this link and then click to view the slideshow, you can see a photo of Katie and Eva, the fifth image in the slideshow. **UPDATE: Many people seem to have enjoyed this very much. (December 2006)
EVA + KATIE = NUMBER ONE! According to the BBC News, '"What A Wonderful World," Katie Melua's charity duet with the late Eva Cassidy, has displaced Leona Lewis at the top of the UK singles chart after seven weeks. The song sees Melua, 23, sing with her musical idol, who died of cancer in 1996. Profits from sales of the single go to the British Red Cross. "Thank you to everyone who has shown such festive goodwill," said the star. ' Eva has had number one albums on the UK charts on several occasions, but this is the first #1 single. Congratulations! "What a Wonderful World" was written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, and first recorded by Louis Armstrong. For more information about Eva's connection with the song, read my article. (Added December 16, 2007)
From the charitable website "Third Sector": “Everyone at the British Red Cross is so excited,” said Phil Talbot, director of communications at the British Red Cross. “This isn’t just a gift this Christmas because vulnerable people across the UK will continue to benefit from Red Cross services for years to come.” Ruth Girardet, corporate responsibility director at Tesco, said: “This is a perfect way to end a successful year of fundraising for the British Red Cross, the Tesco charity of the year for 2007.” (Added December 19, 2007)
EVA ON AIR LINGUS: Gerard in Ireland writes, "In Cara (Aer Lingus inflight magazine) Oct/Nov issue there is info about inflight entertainment available on their Airbus A330 aeroplanes, of course I was only in an A320! Under 'audio' I couldn't help noticing Early Morning Rain - Eva Cassidy. It is under the heading 'Easy Listening with Jurys Doyle Hotels - timeless tracks, compliments of Jurys Doyle Hotels.'" (Added October 23, 2006)
EVA FANS MEET AT TRAFFIC LIGHT: Eva's sister Margret sent me this anecdote from Sue in Baltimore: 'I was driving in Baltimore today, just outside Little Italy, with my windows down, and heard from behind me in the right hand lane, "YEAH! Eva Cassidy, man! We love her!" A man pulled up next to me at the traffic light and very enthusiastically raved about Eva's talents. It was soooo much fun to have someone recognize and acknowledge her bumper sticker!' If you don't have your bumper sticker yet, visit EvaCassidy.com .
EVA FANS IN TURKEY:I love this story, which I heard second-hand today: An American couple was vacationing in Turkey and went on a sailing cruise on a boat with four Turkish crew members who spoke little or no English. "The crew played Eva Cassidy recordings the whole time," my source reported. (Added October 28, 2005)
Henrik in Denmark sent me a fantastic item (thanks always, Henrik!). He writes:
'Here is an exciting piece of Danish news (http://www.brandbjerggospel.dk/velkommen.htm). Participants at the Fourth Gospel Convention at the Danish folk high school Brandsbjerg, 3 to 9 July 2005, may choose between four different courses: Performing Gospel, American Church Gospel, R´n’B & Funky Gospel, and City Gospel. Peter Bom, the instructor responsible for the class on Performing Gospel, describes the contents of the course as follows (I translate):
“A tribute to Eva Cassidy”. Nearly everyone has listened to or heard about Eva Cassidy who suddenly shot to the tops of music charts all over the world after her much too early death. When you hear her voice you understand why...Fortunately she did record quite a number of songs during her lifetime, and in our 2005 performance class we are going to focus exclusively on her gospel oriented material. If you want to work with performance, interpretation, expression, stage presence and choreography as parts of a musical totality, then this class is for you. The rehearsal phase will be pretty short, and you must be prepared to spend extra time learning the lyrics. The concert at the end of the course will be performed without musical score or conductor.
This is of course to allow you to perform without any ‘filter’, addressing the audience directly and making use of some of the techniques you learned during the course. In principle anybody can attend this class as we will take our starting point in each individual participant’s resources. Strong group dynamics are one of the keywords for this class. The class is also aimed at choirmasters who would like new ideas and inspiration. The techniques I work with are reasonably basic and easy to employ in actual performance. In the light of previous courses it is a must that you bring recording equipment (MD, Walkman etc.) And you can expect a week of lots of Gospel, good energy, hard work and fresh challenges.'
LISTENING QUIZ: Sandy in Cincinnati says she scored ten out of ten on this quiz: http://www.scenta.co.uk/whatthatsong/default.asp?game=Eva+Cassidy. It isn't difficult but it's fun!
EVA MENTIONED ON BRITISH TV: Dan in the UK writes, 'I didn't see it, but I'm told that the latest episode (March 27th) of the popular BBC TV detective series "Dalziel and Pascoe" gave a passing mention to Eva. The episode was about the murder of a singer and I'm told that one of the characters made a remark along the lines of how she could now become famous after her death, like Eva Cassidy.' (Added March 30, 2006)
"OVER THE RAINBOW" FOR BRASS: Virtuoso cornet player Alan Morrison released a new album in October 2004 entitled OVER THE RAINBOW. According to his website, "the title track is the award winning arrangement by Alan of Eva Cassidy`s emotive version of the Wizard of Oz classic." Award-winning? "Alan Morrison has won the Fodens Richardson Award for arrangements. His stunning new cornet solo with band accompaniment `Somewhere Over the Rainbow` taken from the Eva Cassidy album `Songbird` has come out on top of over 120 entries.... Alan`s arrangement of `Somewhere Over the Rainbow` is published by Crabtree Music and is now available to purchase online. Versions for piano accompaniment and quintet will be available soon." Fodens Richardson describes Morrison's arrangement as "simply breathtaking." Apparently this was the inauguration of the award, sponsored by an acclaimed brass band, with the intent "to encourage new and established composers and arrangers to arrange new concert repertoire that would be accessible to all listeners." Amazon.co.uk does not list Morrison's newest CD but it is available through his site (link above). **UPDATE: Soon to become a "single"? According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, "[Morrison's] new version of the song has been going down well at B and R concerts throughout the year and so impressed someone from the recording company that made the original Eva Cassidy recording when he heard it on BBC2's Listen To The Band, that he got in touch. Now Over the Rainbow is to be released as a CD single backed by the sort of publicity that a major recording company can generate. Soon, Alan Morrison's name and that of Brighouse and Rastrick will again be as well known as the band was in Floral Dance days." (Updated December 17, 2004)
ARTIST OF THE WEEK (UPDATED): Eva Cassidy was the featured artist of the week on BBC Radio Two's Ed Stewart Show. My dial-up connection wasn't good enough to allow me to listen, but I hear it went well. Apparently Ed read aloud an e-mail message I had sent him, thanking him for featuring Eva's music and inviting him to visit the web site. Mike in Bolton writes, "I was really pleased that you got a well-deserved mention on Ed Stewart`s radio show last night. I think most visitors to your site will second that view. It was nice that `Honeysuckle Rose` was played - it made a good contrast to the three ballads which many seem to favour.... The show finished, fittingly, with `Over the Rainbow`. It was the last strains of this song which introduced me to her music four or five years ago. (Now there`s an interesting voice!) Superb!" Hilary adds, 'Ed Stewart is presenting a special show on the 2nd January 2005. He is going to feature the most popular "Artists of the week." He said that Eva would definitely be included on the show. Did you hear him say that he had received a lot of e-mails and letters concerning Eva? I am not surprised really as she is played most weeks on the show.' MORE FROM HILARY: 'Ed said some lovely things about Eva. He said that he had received so many requests that he couldn't read them all out but he would do what he could. "Anniversary song" received quite a few requests as did "Fields of gold" and "Over the rainbow." Ed read out your e-mail word for word, telling everyone that Eva was as gracious and lovely as everyone had said she was. He agreed with you, Laura, about supporting live music, and Ed particularly liked the comment from the guestbook, "There will never be another Eva Cassidy, but there will be someone else." He thought that was just great. Ed also said that "Honeysuckle Rose" was a standard and maybe some people hadn't heard Eva's version and would be surprised at how different her arrangement was. Just before the end of the show, "Over the Rainbow" was played, the full version, not the single version that a lot of presenters play these days. Personally speaking, I think that the CD single version really doesn't do Eva version justice. I prefer the album version with the instrumental piece in the middle.' (Updated December 14, 2004)
EVA'S IN A CROSSWORD PUZZLE: My husband was working a crossword puzzle when he started with surprise and passed the book over to me, pointing to clue 116 Down. "Singer Cassidy," read the clue. Three letters. Could it be? I checked the answers in the back -- sure enough, E-V-A ! The clue appears in the Simon & Schuster Crossword Puzzle Book #234, in puzzle #31, "Also Known As," by Alfio Micci. (Added May 31, 2005)
EVA'S GUITAR HEARD ON THE TODAY SHOW: Darcy in Bethesda writes, 'This morning on the Today show they had a feature called "frumpy to fabulous" (that may not be the exact title, but it was something like that), where they took two forty-something women and transformed them. While they were showing the "before" interviews of the first one, part of the music they played in the background was an instrumental section of Eva's "Songbird."' (January 2005)
On a recent trip to Denmark (2004), Eva's producer Chris Biondo had the opportunity to meet with Henrik Thiil Nielsen, the webmaster of the "Eva Songs" website. The restaurant waiter took their photo -- from left to right, Henrik, Chris, and Eileen White. From all reports, they had a great time.
Vince writes, "A friend of mine recently attended a wedding on Long Island. Each of the 200 or so guests were given CDs of the bride and groom's favorite music. One of the CDs was one of Eva's albums given to all the guests! I thought, what a nice idea. Which album? I haven't found that out yet.
I remember Eva fondly as I used to work with her at Behnkes many years ago. I was only there one day a week and in another department. However, I do remember how talented she was and what a hard worker she was. I think of her often."
Glynne in the UK writes, "Just watched 'The X Factor' -- yet another show to search for the UK's newest singing sensation. Simon Cowell is the main guy behind it. Right at the end it featured Verity, a 49 year old who had been offered two recording contracts in her life, but because she sang as a duo with her husband, refused them because her husband told her to! She is now divorced and came on the show thinking this could be her last chance. Eva's OTR came on toward the end of her being judged, Eva's guitar on its own first, then the part toward the end of OTR where Eva sings 'dreams really do come true,' as all three judges decided to let her through to the next round. Simon Cowell admitted, 'Even I got touched by it all.'" (Fall 2004)
2003: Tim in Stoke-on-Trent writes, 'Real Radio, a regional radio station in South Wales in the UK has a late evening programme called Real Love presented by Charlie Power. Normally they select three love songs and ask listeners to text from their mobile phones to vote for which one they want to end the show, however last night (Monday) they let listeners nominate any song, and the one with the most nominations got played. The winner... Eva's "Over The Rainbow." '
2003: Looking through some old e-mail, I found this curious item Henrik told me about: 'A high tech item: an Eva Cassidy Songbird CD for Yamaha’s Disklavier Mark III piano. This is what the vendor says about it: “This innovative software series enables your Disklavier Mark III piano to perform with the world's most popular CDs. Using Yamaha's PianoSmart Technology, this companion diskette will magically empower your Disklavier Mark III to accompany the exciting audio performance from the designated CD.”
That link led me to the exciting discovery that Eva's arrangement of "Fields of Gold" has been arranged for chorus -- soprano, alto, tenor and bass! The write-up states, "Based on the achingly beautiful Eva Cassidy recording, this Sting song features a delicate arpeggiated accompaniment and the pure, simple vocal lines in a stunning arrangement by Roger Emerson. Available for SATB, SAB, and SSA. ShowTrax CD also available. Performance Time: Approx. 4:15" !!!!!
December 23, 2003: Leon in the US writes, "Eva was on Susan Stamberg's NPR's Morning Edition spot on her series on the meaning of 'home' with the story of 'Over the Rainbow,' which she says is Judy Garland's signature tune. While the piece is first about the song, then Judy, it also mentions Eva and plays a fairly long piece from her OTR version. See http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1550800, click on 'Morning Edition audio' and play with Real Player or WMP. Clip is 7 minutes and Eva is near the end." Thanks, Leon! I just listened to the segment and was interested to hear for the first time a verse to the song that wasn't used in the movie The Wizard of Oz. Eva would have been fascinated! As Eva's guitar is first heard, Stamford says "'Over the Rainbow' won the 1940 Oscar for Best Song, and so many years later, today's singers, Eva Cassidy, Jane Monheit, are finding a home in this song." Then Eva sings. We hear Eva singing from the initial "Somewhere" to "...lullaby." Then another singer is heard, presumably Jane Monheit. Thanks, Susan Stamberg! I don't think I knew she was an Eva fan. I should add that Susan Stamberg has long been my favorite, favorite, favorite radio journalist.
ODD COINCIDENCE at the Eva Cassidy Band Reunion Dinner: The former Eva Cassidy Band recently got together at a local restaurant for their annual holiday dinner (December 2003). At the end of the evening, it was discovered that Jim Campbell, the former drummer for the band, was actually performing at an unrelated event at the same restaurant. Those of you who are interested in historical minutia will recall that Jim was the drummer for the band Method Actor, and played some early engagements with the Eva Cassidy Band. Due to his other musical commitments, he soon left the band and Raice McLeod replaced him.
ENGLISH LESSONS: Eileen in Bethesda sent me a link to an interview with Eva's brother, Dan Cassidy. You'll have to scroll down to find it -- I'm not quite sure what this website is about, something to do with English language comprehension! But I know you will all enjoy reading what Dan has to say, including his scholarly remarks on "Danny Boy"!
HERE'S ANOTHER IN A SIMILAR VEIN: Where does Doug in Pennsylvania find this stuff? "English lesson: how to write a theme inclusive of Eva Cassidy. http://www.robbiedeanpress.com/orientation/sampleoutline.html"
Jim B. writes, 'I have a CD which contains a dedication to Eva. The CD is titled: "Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay, Or Dead" by Kacey Jones, on Nashville-based IGO Records (copyright date is 2000). The CD is a mix of serious and comedic tunes. One of the straight numbers is "Over the Rainbow". Kacey's dedication reads: "This album is dedicated with love to my family and to the memory of Bob Manning. To Denver Smith, your courage will be remembered always...And, to Judy Garland, Eva Cassidy, and my mama, Carmen Jean...I'll meet you beyond the rainbow." I had the pleasure of seeing Kacey Jones, in person, last week, and we've exchanged a couple of e-mails ; in one of them, she comments: "For the record, my favorite version of ANY song ever recorded is the Eva Cassidy version. Her OTR is stunning." By the way, Kacey is an excellent writer and musician, and screamingly funny. If any other of Eva's fans are looking for something new to listen to, they might consider giving her a try. Her web address is kaceyjones.com. Her non-serious material tends to be sometimes risqué, but in a good-natured manner, rather than in a mean-spirited one.'
August 2003: Tom in the Netherlands writes, "There's this Dutch website that honors deceased artists. Just follow this URL: http://www.omroep.nl/nps/maandagprinsjesdag/ and click on the name Eva Cassidy. Fyi: the girl in the clip is not Eva. The makers of the clip wanted to emphasize the content of the song Wade In The Water." Tom adds, "You have to click on 'clips' first." I haven't been able to get this to work, but my computer doesn't handle this kind of thing well. If anybody else has success, tell me about it!
August 23, 2003: From Glynne in the UK: 'Tonight On ITV's "The Vault" a live quiz programme, one of the questions asked was "Songbird and American Tune are both postumously released cds by which artist?" The guy didn't know the answer so he referred to the "home brokers" - on-line helpers and the first one he asked answered Eva Cassidy.'
August 2003: Eva on KLM: Glynne flew KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) on her recent holiday. She says 'They have Eva's "Wade in the Water" on their radio playlist for the many destinations all over the world that fly into Amsterdam. It is on their "easy" list.'
THIS IS JUST PLAIN SILLY: There is a website called "Am I Annoying" which allows people to vote whether or not they consider celebrities to be annoying. I suppose it is a sign of Eva's spreading fame that she is now listed on this site, along with reasons why she might or might not be annoying. If this sort of thing amuses you, please visit the site to vote that Eva isn't annoying! Thanks to E.E. for this information.
A friend in the United Kingdom, who asked to be anonymous, sent me the following true and touching story (only slightly edited for length):
I feel the story I am about to tell has Eva's spirit interwoven throughout and perfectly illustrates how Eva touches peoples lives far beyond the boundaries of Bowie Maryland. I do believe that it also captures those qualities in life that we hold dear to our hearts - compassion for one's fellow man, a kindred spirit, thoughts of peace, to love someone with all your heart and soul - and the quality that was the only one left in Pandora's box - HOPE.
Last November a work colleague - Annette - was organising a Charity Auction for an organisation called Maggie's Centre. She was trying to raise £5,000 to go on a Charity walk over the Sahara desert, and her personal drive to do this was in memory of her dear friend Eleanor who had died of Cancer at 36 years of age.
Here in the UK there are a number of Maggie Centres devoted to providing respite care and support to terminally ill cancer patients - I mentioned the auction to Alex, my daughter in law, who is a nurse, and she told me that working in the Maggie's Centre had been the most rewarding, inspiring and moving experience she had done as a person and as a professional nurse.
Just prior to the auction, while speaking with Annette,- Eva's name came up in the conversation. Annette let me know that Eleanor was a great fan of Eva and that particularly during the last months of her life, Eva played a significant part in helping Eleanor cope with her emotions and positively help her to reflect on her life and appreciate the values of one's life.
The night of the action was so much fun and Annette raised loads of money - it was wonderful that night to see so many people prepared to give so much for such a worthwhile cause. While my own small contribution to raise funds was to "buy" a game of golf - I really wanted to try and do something a little more personal for the Maggie's Centre and for Eva. So I asked Annette if she would wear an Eva T shirt on the Sahara Walk and have a picture taken so that I could forward it to you. In return I pledged to make a further contribution to the Maggie's Centre.
So Eva has walked the Sahara and her music has filled the air - I am sure she smiled down on them all.
I don't know that I have really done this story the justice it merits - I find it difficult to say the right words when tears well up in my eyes and I have had to walk away a few times while typing this - Eva's was blessed with an unique ability to move and connect into people' s hearts and souls - Glad Eva touched Eleanor's and those left behind were able to keep both of their memories alive.
Feb. 23, 2003: Glynne in the UK tells us, 'I was watching "Who wants to be a millionaire?" on ITV and the £8,000 question was:
Who topped the album charts in 2002 with "Imagine"?
a. Dido b. Beth Orton c. Eva Cassidy d. Norah Jones.
The guy deliberated for ages then asked the audience, who voted:
a. 27% b. 10% c. 50% d. 13% .
He continued to deliberate, was going with the audience, then took 50/50, which left the choices Eva and Beth Orton, so he went with Eva and won. He has just finished and ended winning £32,000. '
Early 2003: Bruce Menin of the Merrimack River Current (near Boston, Massachusetts) discusses Eva Cassidy at length in his column entitled "My Opening Farewell." His column is a beautifully-expressed obituary for a local teenager, Trista Zinck, who had been a writer. I won't quote from it because I know many of you would appreciate reading it.
December 28, 2002: The Tennessean newspaper interviewed the Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, and asked him that famous question about what albums he would bring with him to a desert island. The second album he named was EVA BY HEART (my own favorite Eva album), and the Chancellor said, "This young diva died too young and was not truly discovered until after her death. Her music is timeless."
December 13, 2002: The Guardian used Eva's name in passing, in a review of a book about the extinct bird, the Dodo: "Like Eva Cassidy and Vincent Van Gogh, the dodo has achieved far greater fame in death than it ever did in life."
April 2004: How did I stumble across this obscure reference? (Isn't the Internet wonderful?) Eva Cassidy was mentioned in a speech given by Secretary of Education Rod Paige, at an orchestra concert. The Secretary said: "I want to join in welcoming the St. Malachy’s College Orchestra. This is a fine orchestra from a wonderful school. These young men are outstanding ambassadors for Northern Ireland, for classical music and for Irish music. I am very pleased that they will perform for us today. I should tell the members of the orchestra that Washington is a musical town. We are proud of our musical heritage: Francis Scott Key, Duke Ellington, Eva Cassidy and many other musicians have made their mark here. This is a city that helped give birth to jazz and the blues. We are a center for bluegrass and country. Washington is well-known for rock and rap. We are a home for classical music, with a special place in our hearts for the National Symphony Orchestra. And Washington loves - passionately loves - Irish music. Whether on the metro, at Constitution Hall, or in a pub, people in Washington seriously and knowledgeably discuss and evaluate Irish music. So you are most welcome." (Only a true curmudgeon would point out that -- well, OK, I guess I am a curmudgeon. Hate to break it to you, Mr. Secretary, but Francis Scott Key was not a musician, he was a poet. But Washington does love Irish music, and our National Symphony Orchestra is the best!)
October 28, 2002: Just spotted in a UPI press report from critic Ken Franckling: "Every label these days seems to be looking for the next Diana Krall, Norah Jones or Eva Cassidy...."
Here's a funny one from the Guestbook: Brian in Kent wrote, "Oh dear! A contestant on the UK's Weakest Link this evening did not know what singer named Eva with a surname begining with C had an album released after her death called Live At Blues Alley. Any suggestions as to the answer?"
Early November, 2002: Now listed on eBay, a PAL-format video compilation including the "Over the Rainbow" clip and various television interviews and programs about Eva from the UK and Australia. I have never seen this item listed on eBay before. If you are in a part of the world that uses PAL-format videotapes, namely not the United States or Canada, you might be interested in this. As of Sunday, it is up to $54.00. **UPDATE: It closed at $162.50.
September 2002: Here's a funny Eva mention, in an article from the Belfast (Northern Ireland) News Letter, reviewing a new model of Volvo: "Upgrading to the XC90 D5 SE or T6 SE (pounds 30,400 or pounds 33,640 respectively) offers as you'd expect even more luxury such as leather, better wheels and so on, There's the obligatory communications pack with integrated sat nav, phone and hi-fi so you can call your partner and tell them the co-ordinates of the corner of the car park you're sitting while listening to the latest Eva Cassidy."
August 2002: Gemma in England writes, "I was watching a UK quiz show called "Enemy Within" this week, when one of the questions asked was "Which singer/artist had a number one album last year with Songbird?" and quick as a flash, one of the contestants answered "Eva Cassidy"!! I couldn't believe it - how great for Eva, and that the question was answered correctly!
September, 2002: Alan in Hawaii writes, "I saw my little niece today (age 9) and she showed me dances from her dance class, and one of them was choreographed to Eva's 'Wade in the Water.' Good sign, I thought."
From Henrik: "This spring term, at the Department of Music of the University of York, the first of a series of seminars on 'Meaning in singing: style and technique in context' took 'A detailed look at "Over the Rainbow" as recorded by Judy Garland and Eva Cassidy (two versions separated by about 50 years), focusing on ideological considerations and questions of performance practice.' (http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~jcs7/noticeboard.htm) Isn't it amazing! From all I have read about Eva I can only imagine that she would have been utterly dumbfounded to learn that her work had become an academic topic at an English University." WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Steve sent me this link about the professor who teaches the course.
GUITARISTS IN THE UK, TAKE NOTE: Henrik in Denmark found this one in April 2002. "The Bath International Guitar Festival 2002, which describes itself as 'Europe's first and finest summer school for contemporary guitar' and claims to have 'some of the world's top teachers and performers' among its instructors, includes the seminars 'Acoustic Guitar Accompaniment Levels I &II,' where Tristan Seume teaches 'Strumming and picking techniques aimed at singers and songwriters, covering styles such as James Taylor, John Martyn, Travis, Coldplay, David Gray, Eva Cassidy, Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell.'"
2/2002: Here's a link I'm very excited about -- found by Doug in Pennsylvania. One of our United States Senators, Senator Dorgan of North Dakota, mentions on his website that he is an Eva fan! No need to follow the link unless you also want to to try his recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole, in the classic style beginning with a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. In case you're wondering, Senator Dorgan is a Democrat.
Here's an odd one found by Doug in Pennsylvania: "Steamy enough to have been designed by a daytime soap producer."
Klaus wrote in the Guestbook, 'In September, German Airline Lufthansa had "Fields of Gold" in one of their music programs in the airplanes. That is how I met Eva for the first time.'
Here's another link from Doug, who writes, "A study guide on Songbird? So it would then not be too surprising to find a classroom exercise on Eva and Songbird. From a German entity, no less."
EVA ANAGRAMS: Mick in the UK, whose hobby is anagrams, worked out this one : ' "Songbird" by Eva Cassidy ~ is vibrancy by a goddess. ' Another one, which Doug in Pennsylvania read on an Anagram website called anagramgenius.com, was created by David Bourke: "The Late Eva Cassidy" ~ "Lady Achieves Taste"
4/23/2001 Eva Cassidy's prominent placement in the BBC's list of "Voices of the Century" is receiving press mentions internationally. What a remarkable tribute to Eva from the music lovers of the United Kingdom. Now I hear that BBC radio announcers are practically bickering over who "discovered" Eva Cassidy on behalf of BBC Radio 2! Was it Mike Harding, Terry Wogan, or Bob Harris? I have been investigating, and the answer is... none of the above. Paul Jones was actually the first to put Eva on BBC 2, with 'Wade in the Water' on his blues show. (Note: According to Brian in Scotland, "this is Paul Jones the singer, from the 60's band Manfred Mann.") The following week, Mike Harding was the first to play 'Fields Of Gold.' Very shortly thereafter, Paul Walters and Terry Wogan introduced Eva to the audience of the most-listened-to "Wake up with Wogan" program (did I get that name right?) and Bob Harris brought her voice to the discerning listeners of his eclectic Saturday night show. Thanks, gentlemen, you are all wonderful!
From Jim in DC : 'Eva's recording of "Wade In the Water" was #1, for four consecutive weeks (7/15/01, 7/22/01, 7/29/01 and 8/5/01) on the "Swing Top 40 Weekly Chart" on the website http://www.swingtop40.com. This site is devoted to Swing Music, and the chart is compiled from several different sources, as explained at that site. The weekly charts can be viewed, going back, at least, to the beginning of this year.' Dee-Dee in London, the queen of statistics, notes, "As a footnote, Eva remained in that Chart for a total of 15 weeks ending 26 August 2001. Since then, only one song has bettered that run and to even get into double figures is very rare. Another achievement in places unexpected !"
"I DREAMED THE WORLD WOULD ALL AGREE TO PUT AN END TO WAR...." Gerard in Ireland writes, "Listening to the news, and hearing mention of the new Middle East peace talks, I again think of Eva, as I always associate her with Annapolis, and she would surely wish them success in their talks."
Amen! I've been pondering about which Eva song would be a good theme for a peace conference. My answer (sorry) is a recording that has not yet been released: "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream," written in 1950 by folksinger-songwriter Ed McCurdy. I found this tidbit on Wikipedia: 'In 1980, [McCurdy] was gratified that two of his compositions, "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream," and "King's Highway," as recorded by his old friend Josh White, Jr. became the official theme songs for the Peace Corps and VISTA.... In 1989, Ed experienced one of his most emotionally satisfying moments when the NBC-TV News cameras and Tom Brokaw, broadcasting from on top of the Berlin Wall as it was being dismantled, showed school children on the East German side of the wall singing en masse "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream."'
Eva learned the song in childhood, probably from her father; it was a family favorite. She performed it at Pearl's in Annapolis on one of the nights that happened to get taped. The recording is flawed but (I think) fixable. What does Eva "do" with the song? She sings it. She just sings it. With this song, that is enough. (2007)
June 2002: Andy in England received a promotional e-mail from Amazon.co.uk, describing singer Norah Jones, and stating, "she's been favourably compared with Eva Cassidy, Diana Krall and Cassandra Wilson." Andy comments, "Upon receiving the e-mail attached, it struck me just how much Eva is now a part of the general music scene here in the UK - she is now a "yardstick" for comparison!"
NEWS ABOUT EVA CASSIDY FANS IN THE MUSIC WORLD, AND OTHER CELEBRITIES:
ROYAL FAN: His Highness the Maharaja of Jodhpur loves Eva's music, according to this article in The Independent. The author (whose name was not listed) writes, "Stopping in the desert, I joined the Maharaja in the Phantom. The atmosphere inside was in exquisite contrast to the furnace outside. Songbird by Eva Cassidy, His Highness's favourite CD, contended with the purr of conditioned air and HH's steady obligato on the horn." (Added September 18, 2006)
ANOTHER CELEBRITY EVA FAN: British actor Sir Michael Caine told the Daily Mail, "I love chillout music and I've just made a compilation record, Cained. It came about when I was having dinner with Elton John at his house in Nice and he was playing some of my favourites in the background – and I kept naming the tune, much to Elton's surprise. I told him that I've been making chillout compilations, because I've gone through my disco period, my house period, urban and rock 'n' roll and now I'm looking for quieter stuff. And he got me a three-record deal. It really is not what you know but who you know. So I made a record that includes music by my great friend, the late Stan Getz, and Roy Budd, who's no longer with us – he wrote the music for Get Carter. It's music that many people have probably never heard before, like St Germain, Sarah McLachlan and Eva Cassidy." The Eva song on the album is "Fields of Gold." (2007)
ANOTHER EVA FAN IN THE MUSIC WORLD: Ian in the UK writes, "Here's a quote from singer/songwriter Rick Astley about Eva Cassidy. I thought it would be nice to put it in your quotes from other artists about Eva: "Eva Cassidy, when she did that interpretation of 'Over The Rainbow,' she breathed something into that song, and some of the others that she did, that you didn't think was possible."
EVA ON REALITY TV: Lorraine in East Anglia writes, "Eva's version of Over The Rainbow was sung on BBC1 on Saturday night. Andrew Lloyd Webber is searching in a TV competition for a new Maria for the West End version of The Sound Of Music. The competition is much like the X-Factor (only the judges are not quite so mean!!). I'm not sure of the girl's name who performed OTR but it was Eva's version!"
MARY BLACK IS "INSPIRED" BY EVA: Today I was talking with Mary Cliff, the host of the "Traditions" folk program on our local radio station WETA-FM. Mary mentioned that when she did an interview with Irish singer Mary Black a while back, she asked Black about her recording of "Fields of Gold" on her album SPEAKING WITH THE ANGEL. Had she been listening to Eva Cassidy when she decided to record that song? Mary Black replied, "Oh, absolutely, it definitely was Eva, she inspires us all so much!" (If you are a WETA listener, you should also keep an ear open for Mary Cliff's interview with Chuck Brown, which will be broadcast sometime soon.) (Added October 28, 2005)
February 2004: Doug in Pennsylvania writes, "So is newcomer Mindy Smith still the best-kept secret in Nashville? Not quite anymore. What IS the secret is she, too, is an Eva fan." Eva is mentioned in this Boston Globe article by Steve Morse: 'The mix of influences she picked up along the way is quite unusual. They range "from Sarah Vaughan to the Sundays and the Cure, then Appalachian music and bluegrass by Alison Krauss and the Cox Family," Smith says. "Then I got excited by Shawn Colvin. Any woman who can play guitar like that and make her own records is someone I'm attracted to. Then I discovered Patty Griffin and Julie Miller -- two of the best songwriters of the past decade. I also listen to Eva Cassidy. I'm all over the place. If it's good, I want to hear it."' Smith's enthusiasm for Eva's music is also mentioned on the WMVY website: "Unlike her idol, Eva Cassidy, Mindy's talent got noticed immediately."
Kevin Johnson's review of singer Erin Bode's new album, in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, mentions Eva more than once: '...Bode is far more influenced by the late Eva Cassidy, her favorite artist, than by [Norah] Jones. "She was just perfect," Bode says. "She wasn't overly famous, but she absolutely had the most beautiful voice I've heard. She inspired me a lot. I always want to keep true to the music, and I know that's the way she was."' Also, 'Bode also covers "Time After Time," the ballad made famous by Cyndi Lauper. But Bode says her version is more in line with Cassidy's cover. "She made me just fall in love with the song," she says.' Erin Bode's website is http://www.erinbode.com and there is a sound clip of TAT as well as "Over the Rainbow" which is not Eva's arrangement, except for a phrase or two (I like this version, and its musical introduction).
Henrik writes, "Swedish singer Lisa Nilsson likes Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones according to this interview from May 30, 2003. While the name Lisa Nilsson hardly rings a bell outside Scandinavia and Finland, she is (deservedly) a very popular singer here.
John in Vermont offers news from Hawaii: 'Fans of Hawaiian music take note! A bonus track closes the new "Amy & Willie Live" CD. It is the "Eva Cassidy arrangement" of Autumn Leaves sung beautifully by Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom. Amy and Willie K enjoyed a fruitful partnership, both musical and personal, back in the late 90s before going their separate ways. Earlier this year they joined forces for a limited West Coast tour with this CD resulting. Want to expand your idea of contemporary Hawaiian music? Buy this. It is great fun with Willie being, well, Willie K: irrepressible as always. You can order it from Auntie Maria at www.mele.com or pick it up at a Borders near you. (Note: most of the songs are sung in Hawaiian, a most beautiful language. Lyrics in the CD insert.)' John adds that the album notes do specifically mention that it is Eva's arrangement of "Autumn Leaves."
More Hawaiian music news from John in Vermont: 'Eva is once again part of a very special new release from the island of Maui. After a four years wait between offerings, Keali'i Reichel, one of the most popular and important artists in Hawaiian music today, returns with what may be his most personal release, "Ke'alaokamaile" (The Scent of Maile"). Eva fans take note: track #4 is Fields of Gold". In the CD booklet Keali'i explains: "This arrangement of Fields of Gold, inspired by the late Eva Cassidy, evokes fond memories of long summer days spent at the beach at Paia. How I dearly miss those golden sands, the sound of the wind blowing through the coconut trees, the feel of the sea spray on my skin and the voices and laughter of loved ones." Nature-lover that she was, it sounds like Eva would have felt right at home.
It is a simple presentation. Kapono Beamer plays guitar and there are about a half dozen strings players (yes, wonderful, living breathing classically-trained musicians!) together with vocals by Keali'i. I imagine Eva would have been charmed.
The 15 song CD has 4 songs in English with the remaining 11 in the Hawaiian language, with superb translations provided in the CD booklet. There are good reasons why his fans have filled Carneigie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and his tours of Japan play to SRO crowds. Buy this CD and find out for yourself. If you're not near a Borders, you can order on-line at www.mele.com.'
Floris in the Netherlands sent me some great news of an "Eva moment" she watched on Dutch television: 'Yesterday I watched "Idols", the Dutch version of "American Idol." This is a very popular tv-show in Holland, usually more than 3 million viewers. Ten of the thirty finalists had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with "Trijntje Oosterhuis," a singer who is very popular in our country. She took them to her studio to listen to different versions of a few songs. One of the songs was "Ain't No Sunshine." She played short parts of a few versions, the Sting version, the Bill Withers version AND, the Eva Cassidy version. Trijntje commented that a priority to learn the art of singing is to concentrate and to listen to what others do, and how they do the song. After they played Eva's version she said, this a a very good example of a voice that touches you immediately, and how Eva sang it with such emotional power. When they played the short part of Eva's version, her name was shown with a short clip from the "Live at Blues Alley" performance. It was a short Eva moment on the Dutch tv, but I think it was long enough to make people think, who is that beautiful lady with that touching voice. And to learn that one of our country's greatest singers "Trijntje Oosterhuis" is a fan of Eva, is very nice.' Very nice indeed! Thank you, Floris and Trijntje!
Henrik writes, "Tommy Körberg, the greatest Scandinavian and a major European musical star-he performs with the likes of Elaine Page-was asked by a Swedish TV viewer early in July this year what music he listened to. This is what he answered (I translate): 'The latest record I bought was Steely Dan. And I also listen a lot to the jazz singer Carmen McRae. Eva Cassidy singing "Ain´t no sunshine when she´s gone" (he sings the tune) is also a favorite. There’s a lot!'"
Torbjörn and Mona in Sweden write, "The second largest tabloid in Sweden, Expressen, lets on its Sunday supplementary a celebrity choose his/hers favorite book, record, thing, place and person. The headline is Choice of the week. Last week, a singer veteran Anita Strandell, 64, chooses Songbird by Eva and tells us why: ‘Her voice goes straight into my heart. When she interprets Over the rainbow and Autumn leaves I find it difficult to hold back my tears.’ The article ends with a quiz and chances to win Eva Cassidy’s CD Songbird. Eva still attracts attention and that´s nice to see." (Fall 2004)
Jim in Wisconsin writes, '[Here] is a link to popular pianist Jim Brickman's website. At this link Jim relates what music, books, etc., he indulges in when not performing. Of course, at the top of the list is, you guessed it, the Eva Cassidy "Songbird" album! Jim is a wonderful artist and recently collaborated with "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken for a lovely new single, "LOVE OF MY LIFE."'
Spring 2003: ANOTHER CELEBRITY EVA FAN: Matt in the US e-mailed me to say, 'I don't know whether Eva's fans will be interested in this or not, but I had the privilege of chatting on her website with a incredibly talented broadway/pop singer named Linda Eder, who you may or may not have heard of, and I decided to ask if she had heard of Eva. Linda replied, "I love Eva. What a talent and what a loss."'
April 27, 2003: Henrik in Denmark found another casual, revealing, minor mention of Eva Cassidy: "This is from an interview in the Norwegian newspaper VG with Morten Harket from the world-famous Norwegian pop group A-Ha: 'We drove for five hours without a single note of music, without a single word on the radio. Morten rarely listens to music, least of all his own, when he is not busy making it. But he likes Coldplay, and he is especially impressed with Eva Cassidy and Jeff Buckley. - They are vocalists that really touch me; they have taken their art further than I have. They are a source of stimulation to me.'"
Also from Henrik: 'There is a charming interview with Charlotte Church in a Florida paper. Discussing her move away from pop-classical music into popular music proper she says “My favorite kinds of artists are, like, Jill Scott, India.Arie, Sting, Eva Cassidy, people like that”.'
Feb. 24, 2003: Chris in the UK writes, 'Paul Simon is being interviewed right now on WFUV New York. He's just said , when asked for favourite covers of his songs, that he "really liked Eva Cassidy's version of Kathy's Song." Has he heard Bridge over Troubled Water?" I wonder if Chris was listening over the Internet? Anyway, Chris, I don't know if he has heard "Bridge," but from what I was told, it was Paul Simon himself who suggested Eva's version of "Kathy's Song" for the soundtrack to the movie "Maid in Manhattan," instead of his own. Now THAT'S a fan!
Late 2002: Joe in Aylesbury wrote in the Guestbook, "Yesterday's Daily Mirror 'M' magazine - The last 5 things I bought by Gaynor Faye (actress?!). 3. CD. 'I've just got the CD Songbird by Eva Cassidy. I'm a big fan of Radio 2 and while I was listening the other day this extraordinary beautiful, pure voice came on singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow like I'd never heard it sung before. My mum asked what I wanted for my birthday so I chose that and her other CD, Imagine.' (Cheating? that made 6 things she bought). "
Paul from Oklahoma reported in the guestbook, "MSN and the Lifetime Television Network hosted a Celebrity chat with singer Amy Grant on Monday, June 3, and someone asked Amy who her favorite singers are and one of the singers she named was Eva Cassidy, I think she said she just recently discovered her." Thanks to Cathy and Eric who sent me the link! Here's the quote: "My favorite discovery last year was Eva Cassidy. She has since died, but her voice is worth discovering."
PRAISE FROM POLAND: Polish superstar vocalist Anna Marie Jopek was recently interviewed by Mike Brannon for jazzreview.com. She was asked, "What inspires you and what do you listen to for pleasure?" Part of her reply: "I think Eva Cassidy was probably the most divine voice of her generation." Thanks to Linda S., a longtime Eva fan, for this link. (Added December 10, 2004)
ROSANNE CASH LOVES EVA: Peggy writes,'If you go to this link (before the end of February), you'll see a photo of Eva's "Songbird" CD and a very nice write-up by Rosanne Cash who apparently has just discovered Eva Cassidy. Thought you might want to know and share with other Eva fans.' Thanks, Peggy! The Grammy-winning country star wrote in the "Picks" section of her web site, "Where have I been? I missed Eva Cassidy when she was alive, and just got introduced to her music properly. She moves me in every way--emotionally, intellectually, as a singer, and spiritually. Her version of Sting's 'Fields of Gold' moves me to tears." (Added February 2, 2005)
ANOTHER CELEBRITY FAN: Hilary in Oxfordshire reports, 'The actress turned singer Minnie Driver is an Eva fan! We saw Minnie perform a show in Oxford last night, (Tuesday) at the Zodiac club.... Halfway through the first set she performed "Fever," and guess what, it was Eva's arrangement from start to finish. I said to David, my husband, that I thought that Minnie might be an Eva fan and if we get the chance after the show we must go and ask her if this is true. We did meet Minnie and all I can say is this, what a lovely person she is and so easy to talk to. She said to us that she loved playing the smaller venues and couldn't wait to come back here again. I said to her that I loved her version of "Fever" and I also made the comment that her version was so like Eva Cassidy's. I asked her if she was a fan of Eva's music. Her eyes lit up and she said, "Oh yes, I just love Eva's music so much. I am a big fan of hers." She also said that she admired Eva not just because she was a great singer but also because she could play the guitar really well too, she said that Eva was a great musician who died far too young.
We were pleasantly surprised that Minnie is an Eva fan, but I do think that there are many, many more musicians out there that we admire and we maybe don't know that they are fans of Eva's music. I also think that it doesn't do any harm to ask these people if they like Eva's music. After all, if you don't ask then how will you ever know?' What a great idea, Hilary! I hope to hear many more reports of celebrity Eva fans after this.
COMPARISON WITH SANDY DENNY: Eva's friend Elaine Stonebraker writes, "In the November issue of Irish Music magazine, there is an article about Sandy Denny, the singer in Fairport Convention. The first paragraph ends with, 'She should have the same aura of reverence as Eva Cassidy... maybe the time is ripe for her memory to shine once again.' Wouldn't Eva LOVE to be compared to Sandy Denny? I know she learned a couple songs from her albums." (Added December 23, 2004)
SIR ELTON JOHN LOVES EVA! Henrik writes, 'On a Norwegian site I found this quote from Elton John in the context of a review (in English) of a biography of Judith Durham from the Australian 60/70s folk and pop group The Seekers: “'Judith Durham, like Karen Carpenter and Eva Cassidy, possesses the purest voice in popular music. When she recorded one of my songs I was so flattered and loved her version. She made the song her own - a very enviable talent.' Elton John”. It is extra cool because rather than making a statement about Eva, Elton John is here using her as a standard of comparison!' (Fall 2004)
ANOTHER EVA MENTION FROM SIR ELTON JOHN: Steve in York writes, "I thought I'd just mention something I heard on Radio 2 this afternoon. Sir Elton John was a guest on Steve Wright's show. They were discussing the state of the music scene at both sides of the pond, when Elton said that he felt higher quality music made it into British charts than in the USA. He mentioned several examples including The Scissor Sisters (spelling?), Snow Patrol and of course Eva Cassidy."
EVA ON THE MICHAEL PARKINSON SHOW: From June 2004: Hilary in the UK writes, 'We were listening to the Michael Parkinson Show on Radio Two. The show goes out on Sunday morning between 11 am and 1 pm. Michael's guest this week was TV and Radio presenter, Bill Oddie. He is very well known over here and was on Michael's show to promote his new TV show. Each guest chooses a couple of their favorites songs and they tell Michael why they like the particular tunes. Bill Oddie selected Eva's Over the Rainbow as his second choice. After the song had finished, Michael said to Bill Oddie, that Eva's version was timeless. Bill agreed with him and said, 'The whole Eva story is so tragic and the way that she just holds the last note of the song is so incredible' He continued, 'Like most people I was blown away when I heard her sing that song. It is one of my all time favorite songs.' He also said that like most people he grew up listening to the Judy Garland version, but now prefers to listen to Eva's version."
June 2004: Les in England writes, "It's official, Joss Stone loves Eva Cassidy! Rising star and great singer Joss Stone, she is 17, but with the soul of someone far older (not unlike Eva) , was on BBC Radio 2's Johnnie Walker show a couple of weeks ago. I e-mailed her live on air and told her I bought her cd as soon as I heard her on the radio, just the same as Eva, and was she aware of Eva. She said very loud and clear that she LOVED Eva's work! Just thought I would relay the news to you." Thanks, Les! I heard Joss Stone playing last time I shopped at Borders and liked what I heard.
Tom in the US e-mailed me to say, "My friend was telling me that his friend, singer Jennifer Warnes, is a major Eva fan! Jennifer is of course a Grammy winner who made Leonard Cohen a household name with Famous Blue Raincoat...." **UPDATE** I just heard from Tony Bramwell, everybody's favorite "plugger," who says that he was at one time Leonard Cohen's co-manager and worked with him on the album with Jennifer Warnes. Cool! Tony says that Bill Straw of Blix Street Records also knows Jennifer Warnes well. Small world, the music business.
April 2001: Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter was answering questions on Washingtonpost.com. Somebody asked her "If you could perform with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?" She replied, "Eva Cassidy. One of the greatest singers on the planet." MCC, like Eva, is from the Washington DC area.
Steve in York has been doing some research:
'Do you remember that CD "A Family Affair" by Eric Bibb and his dad Leon Bibb? There was the question as to whether or not the cover of "Fields of Gold" was Eva related. The answer is most definitely YES. Here is what Eric wrote about "Fields Of Gold" in the liner notes:
"Hearing a singer who has discovered that zone where the spirit infuses every note is a heavenly experience. Eva Cassidy knew that space. My dad was so moved by her version of Sting's song that he chose to quote it almost verbatim." '
Steve adds, 'ERIC BIBB is the son of Leon Bibb, one of the stalwarts of the Greenwich Village folk scene. He is also the nephew of John Lewis, the leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet, and the godson of actor and singer Paul Robeson. Bibb was introduced early to music. Bob Dylan and the folk singer Odetta were frequent guests around the Bibb house. Leon's version of Eva's version is sung mainly with piano accompaniment though Eric chips in with a smidgen of guitar for the Keith Grimes part. So there we have it, a friend of Odetta's recording an Eva Cassidy tribute.'
12/1-3/2001 : Congratulations to Tony Bramwell, who has been promoting Eva's music to such good effect in the United Kingdom. He has been named "PLUGGER OF THE YEAR" by the British Record Industry. He will receive the award on TV next Saturday, December 8th, as part of the "Record Of The Year" show. That same day, Tony will also appear on BBC 2 TV as part of a program called "THE TRUE STORY OF TOP OF THE POPS."
Although he is delighted about the award, this is a sad week for Tony Bramwell -- a native of Liverpool, he was a childhood friend of George Harrison. Tony told me, "When I was 11 I had the pleasure of meeting BUDDY HOLLY when The Crickets played in Liverpool. I was pointed out as the kid who met Buddy. George Harrison was our local butchers delivery boy and he used to borrow records from Buddy, Gene, Little Richard, Everlys etc and we became friends, going cycling and in gang things together. He then disappeared until I met him on a bus going to what was THE BEATLES first real gig and I carried his guitar in to get in free, I did this for all the group up until the record contract and Brian Epstein asked if I would work for him full time which I did. George remained my friend calling round to see my mum and taking us out for drives in his new car. My mother knitted the famous black scarves! I worked alongside The Beatles throughout their career, leaving eventually after the end of APPLE. Through all those years George remained a true friend to all he liked. He was never happier than when he could play with good musicians especially his idols Carl Perkins, Bob Dylan etc. In the Beatles he played probably the most familiar guitar pieces ever recorded, and when his catalogue of solo material and the wonderful WILBURY albums are eventually C.D. issued the world will be able to make a re-evaluation of some great work. He'll be missed by his friends and fans and fellow musos like mad."
BRIEF CASUAL MENTIONS:April 23, 2003: LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT. Have you noticed how often Eva's name is mentioned casually in unrelated articles? I am so thrilled that Eva is becoming well-known enough for such passing references. Here's the most recent, from a column about grandmothers in the Press of Atlantic City. Features editor Alice Cranston writes, "Of course, I need to improve my traveling skills. No more zipping past exits because I'm listening too closely to a Jonathan Kellerman mystery or singing along with Eva Cassidy."
Keith Grimes spotted an "Eva mention" in the latest issue Guitar Player Magazine. He said that in an article about T-Bone Walker, Eva Cassidy was listed as one of several singers to record the song "Stormy Monday." Keith was struck by the fact that Eva was included in the list so matter-of-factly, "as if everybody would know who she was." (The article isn't available on-line. However, I discovered another Eva reference in on the Guitar Player website -- guitarist Jude Gold listed LIVE AT BLUES ALLEY in his "ten favorite albums" list.)
January 30, 2004: INFLUENCED BY EVA: In today's Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) an article about musician Jackie Frost contains the following: "Frost and the boys describe their music as acoustic Americana, a satisfying harmony-driven blend of bluegrass, blues and folk, shaped by the influences of artists such as Eva Cassidy, Tim O'Brien, Etta James, Doc Watson and Bonnie Raitt."
MORE MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS:
METAPHOR NEEDED: I need a bit of help with something I'm writing. Radio Two's Terry Wogan is very well-known in the United Kingdom but not in the United States. I need a point of comparison. For example, I have said that the ITV news magazine program "Tonight with Trevor McDonald" is roughly equivalent to "60 Minutes" in the United States. What would be the parallel for Terry Wogan, in terms of how well-known and influential he is? If you have any ideas, please e-mail me.
**UPDATE: Some interesting suggestions have been sent me, but it has become clear that there is no American equivalent of the incomparable (!) Terry Wogan. Dave writes, "There are only a few radio voices that are known coast to coast. Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Dr Laura, and Paul Harvey. ...I cannot think of a single radio personality whose fame comes from music." John in the UK muses, "I would say Terry Wogan is unique. You might liken him to the best of deejays in the US, which would mean one who is not only the most recognizable personality but who presents an eclectic mixture of music with taste and a unique and infectious humour: but Terry has in the past also had his own chat show on TV, comparably popular to Leno or Letterman at the time, and even at one time was somehow persuaded to become a recording artist, his rendering of the 'Floral Dance' rising to the top of the British hit parade, if memory serves. It amused him hugely, I am sure. It's tough to pigeonhole him by an analogy to a US personality. Terry Wogan is Terry Wogan, there aren't any others." Hilary adds, "It is well known in the UK, that Terry hosts the top breakfast show. His audience figures are through the roof. None of the other national stations can match his listening figures."
More thoughts and suggestions: Jimmy Campbell (quick, where did you hear his name before?) writes, "How about Casey Kasem? I think that he would be a comparable TV and radio personality to Terry Wogan." Stephen suggests, "How about Wolfman Jack?" Olivia in Ireland had an alternative idea: "In reading the suggestions for Terry Wogan, they all try to refer to the music industry but the person that came to my mind was Arnold Schwarzenegger . They are both from another Country (Terry Wogan is Irish) and have found household fame in their adoptive countries. Where Arnold has done Movies and is now in politics, Terry Wogan is involved in Radio and TV. His name might not be as worldwide as Schwarzenegger but hopefully you get the comparisons." Anne in Wisconsin writes, "I vote for Dave Marash of ABC without whom I doubt I would ever have heard about Eva Cassidy." And finally, from Kimberly, "I'd venture, from what little I've heard of the BBC, to compare Terry Wogan to Charles Osgood. (The person who anchored CBS Sunday morning). Not the same style of course, but someone nonetheless who took notice of all the beauty around him and brought it to the attention of the world. Osgood often focused on the beauty of people and their stories and talents."
FINAL WORD ON THE SUBJECT: Pat D. went straight to the source and asked the question of Paul Walters, the producer of "Wake Up With Wogan." Walters graciously replied: "I don't think there is a Radio comparison to Terry... I suppose there are a few TV people that might be vaguely similar. The radio in the US is so totally different to here. The main difference is, that me, as Producer, can programme what I like, I have no constraints, that's how I discovered Eva in the first place and put it into our programme. I was absolutely certain that TW would like it, but it would not have mattered if he didn't, I choose the music...! Anyway, that's all history. He loved it too!"
A SERIOUS MESSAGE:
Eva Cassidy died on November 2, 1996, of melanoma -- the deadliest form of skin cancer. After Eva's death, her parents suggested that instead of flowers, her friends and fans might consider making a donation in Eva's memory to The Fund for Melanoma Research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. If you are moved by Eva's music, and by her story, please consider supporting this worthy cause. I am also signing this website up for the Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk "Associates" program. There are now some specially coded links from the website to Amazon. When people use those links to make purchases, a small percentage of the sale price will go directly to the Fund for Melanoma Research at Johns Hopkins University. I will show the amount of money raised on the "What's New" page in the Navigation Box at the top.
This article in the Boston Globe discusses the dangers of melanoma and mentions Eva.
More melanoma information here, with mention of Eva Cassidy in connection with this dangerous form of cancer. Did you know that reggae musician Bob Marley also died of melanoma?
The website for the Melanoma Education Fund contains some very useful information about this deadly disease.
June 19, 2003: Today I heard from Dr. Mona Mofid of Johns Hopkins University, who wanted to thank me personally for the donations to melanoma research. I must pass along those thanks to all of you, who use the special links to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk! 5% of those purchases are donated to cancer research, and so far it has totalled over $3,700.
Dr. Mofid writes, We are so extremely grateful for your efforts to fund melanoma research and education and for honoring Eva's legacy is such a profound way. I think that each of wishes that when we leave this earth, our lives will have impacted others in a positive way, and as I am sure Eva's music brings joy into so many people's lives, in this particular way it also is saving lives.
Last week we conducted a free skin cancer screening (open to the public) and screened over 260 people, of which we found more than 25 lesions that were highly suspicious. Those participants will now be having biopsies. The new skin cancer statistics, which are alarming, are that 1 in every 39 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma! So even though we are aggressively pursuing research, educating the public and screening is crucial as well. All of your funds are used to help support research and for that I am personally grateful.
Dr. Mona Mofid of the Dermatology Clinic at Johns Hopkins University has sent me some very important information about melanoma. As most of you know, Eva died from this form of cancer. Please take a few minutes to educate yourself about melanoma, because "If caught early, melanoma is one of the most curable of all cancers; however, left untreated it can be fatal." The article also gives some interesting information about the melanoma program at Johns Hopkins, which is the beneficiary of the Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk fundraiser on this site.
Linda in Kansas City sent me information about her website, which is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of melanoma. It is at http://www.sunblitz.com. Linda is a six-year survivor of melanoma. Please take a few minutes to educate yourself about this potentially fatal, but often curable, form of cancer.
AMAZON ASSOCIATES FUNDRAISER:
FUNDS RAISED FOR MELANOMA RESEARCH: AMAZON ASSOCIATES UPDATE: This website is pleased to participate in the "Amazon Associates" program as a fundraiser for cancer research. Over the past several years we have raised well over $6,500 in Eva Cassidy's memory. These funds are sent directly to the melanoma research fund at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Please, if you want to order ANYTHING from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com, and now from Amazon.ca, link from here, please! It doesn't cost you any more, and these little bits of money mount up. The quarter-to-date totals are shown in the "navigation box" on this page. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your participation!
As many of you know, melanoma is the form of cancer that took Eva from us. Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore was where she received her medical treatment, and the Fund for Melanoma Research benefits medical research into this most deadly form of skin cancer. Did you know that Johns Hopkins has the largest medical research facility in the United States, and that it is also the largest private employer in the state of Maryland? By the way, the full name of the charity is the "Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Research Fund." If you are interested in sending them a direct donation, use this address:
JHU Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Research Fund Attention Amy Helsel
1 Charles Center
100 North Charles Street, Suite 436
Baltimore, MD 21201
CONTACT INFORMATION:I have made a special "Contact the Webmaster" Page to make sure that people's e-mailed questions get to the proper place. For example, I often receive messages that should go directly to the record company, or to the Guestbook. I will gradually be putting links to the "Contact the Webmaster" page on other sections of the website, and that way if I ever change my e-mail address, I will only have to update one page instead of many. As an added bonus, the new page has a never-before-seen photo of me and Eva from 1970!
Support the hardworking musicians in your area by attending live performances. Go out to the little clubs and restaurants that offer live music, and if you like what you hear, tell the performers! Clap long and loud! And if they're selling CDs and tapes from their guitar cases, as Eva once did, support their talents and efforts that way too. As someone once wrote in the Guestbook, "There will never be another Eva Cassidy, but there will be someone else."
Eva Cassidy Web Site Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 - Laura Claire Bligh. All rights reserved. Please do not copy any of the images on this site.