Eva Marie Cassidy
Born: February 2, 1963, in Washington DC, USA
Died: November 2, 1996, in Bowie, Maryland, at age 33.
Cause of death: Melanoma (one of the deadliest forms of cancer). In the 1980s, Eva had a malignant mole removed from her back, but the cancer recurred in in the summer of 1996 when she had a sore hip and learned it was broken. From that point it was 3 or 4 months despite chemotherapy treatment at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
Father – Hugh Cassidy, a special education teacher, elementary level
Mother – Barbara Kratzer Cassidy, born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany
Siblings – Two older sisters, Anette D. Cassidy, Margret J. Cassidy Robinson
Younger brother, Daniel K. Cassidy (Dan)
Graduated from Bowie High School, Prince George’s County, Maryland, 1981
Attended classes at Prince George’s Community College (Maryland) to study art
1983-1995 (off and on) Plant propagator at Behnke’s Nurseries. Worked outside year-round in the woody plants department.
1995-96 Worked with artist Margaret Haven painting murals in elementary schools
Other occasional jobs included garden landscaping and “antiquing” furniture
Early Musical Experience
– Started playing the guitar at age nine (had begun even earlier with banjo and autoharp). Father gave her first lessons, after that largely self-taught through “many, many hours of listening to records and playing guitar in her room.”
– Some of the artists who influenced her were Ella Fitzgerald, Joan Baez, Stevie Wonder, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong.
– First paid musical jobs began at age 16 or 17 with high school bands “Stonehenge” and “Excalibur,” playing at small venues.
– In late teens, played country music with brother Dan and bassist Larry Melton at “Wild World” amusement park in Largo, Maryland
– In mid-20s, sang back-up and lead vocals on local music projects, in many different musical styles – rock, folk, rap, country, go-go. Performed with Method Actor and Characters Without Names, among others
– The Eva Cassidy Band was formed in early 1990
First album featuring Eva’s lead vocals, METHOD ACTOR (vinyl LP and cassette), recorded at Chris Biondo’s studio, 1987
THE OTHER SIDE, jazz/blues/soul standards, solos and duets with Chuck Brown, 1992
LIVE AT BLUES ALLEY, recorded live in January 1996, released May 1996
EVA BY HEART, studio recordings issued posthumously 1997
SONGBIRD, anthology album of songs from the three previous CDs, 1998
TIME AFTER TIME, live and studio recordings, released 2000
IMAGINE, live and studio recordings, released 2002
AMERICAN TUNE, live and studio recordings, released 2003
WONDERFUL WORLD, anthology album of songs from the previous CDs, released 2004
SOMEWHERE, released 2008
SIMPLY EVA, released 2011
THE BEST OF EVA CASSIDY, released 2012
NIGHTBIRD, released 2015