Tuesday, Feb 18th

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Lady Day to Lady Tee: The Leading Ladies of Blue-Eyed Soul - Page 4

Eva Cassidy

Cassidy’s angelic voice was virtually unknown to audiences outside her hometown of Washington, D.C., when she died of melanoma at age 33 in 1996. Her father taught her to play the guitar at nine and after dropping out of college Cassidy sang back up for various artists including rapper E-40.

In 1992 she recorded the album, “The Other Side,” with Chuck Brown, “the Godfather of Go-Go.”  Still yet to secure a record deal, Cassidy recorded and released her own live album, “Live at Blues Alley” in early 1996.  But that summer she was unexpectedly diagnosed with melanoma and given just a few months to live. Although she decided on aggressive treatment, she passed away that November.

“Songbird,” a compilation of Cassidy’s recordings, was released in 1998, but garnered little notice until two years later when her version of “Over the Rainbow” was played on a popular BBC radio show. In the following months record sales for the album skyrocketed and the public finally took notice of Cassidy’s sweet, yet soulful soprano voice.

Several albums have since been released including “Time After Time” (2000) and “Somewhere” (2008). Songs like “Oh, Had I a Golden Thread,” Cassidy’s personal favorite, possess a gospel feel, complete with organ and choir-type background vocals. While the title track for “Songbird” is tender and simply moving, particularly given Cassidy’s professional anonymity and untimely death.

Reminds you of: Emily King
Must listen to track: “Wayfaring Stranger” from the album “Songbird”