This Eva Cassidy rendition of a Paul Simon song* is a perfect example of the type of music Cassidy enjoyed: covers of songs she loved. The genre of music mattered little; i.e. jazz, blues, gospel, rock, folk; she cared about and insisted on singing songs in any musical style. As a result, her music didn't really fit into the format-defined music industry. Her career never materialized which is why so very few people anywhere ever heard of her.
So, how is it that a gifted artist achieved fame after death, after life in obscurity? Her posthumous popularity occurred when her music was first broadcast in the UK on BBC Radio Two in 1999 (she died in 1996). In 2001, the BBC television show Top of the Pops 2 showed a homemade video clip of Cassidy doing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".
The public response was incredible! Her album, Songbird, became number 1 in independent and album charts. The rest is history.
It is amazing that the unexpected popularity in Eva Cassidy's music (which came along years after her death) became a true phenomenon. She still remains unknown in much of her country of origin (USA). I was fortunate to learn about her from a You Tube fan. This is my form of payback time. :))
*Note: Paul Simon wrote the lyrics and his own arrangement of American Tune. However, it should be noted that he discovered a good chunk of the melody from listening to JS Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion". Bach used a good chunk of the melody that originated with Hans Leo Hassler's "Mein G'müt ist mir verwirret" (a love song). So, this wonderful melody found its way to the voice of Eva Cassidy via a love song , the Passsion of Christ and a perspective of the American experience.
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Restored footage of Eva Cassidy performing Over The Rainbow.
The performance took place at the Blues Alley jazz supper club in Georgetown, DC,
on the 3rd January 1996.
Recorded by Bryan McCulley on 3 January 1996.