If you’ve not heard Eva Cassidy (d. 1996) sing “Over the Rainbow” then you have truly missed something special, something perhaps heavenly. I was first introduced to her by some dear friends in Kansas. While we sat around their dining table, knowing my music background, they asked that I listen to one song. All was quiet and within just a few bars of the guitar intro, my attention was high. It took only a few phrases of Eva’s angelic voice before I was captivated. Even E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, the song’s lyricist and writer, never imagined such a moving performance! In many ways, Eva’s talent reminds me of my daughter’s who has an equally captivating voice and sings from the depths of her heart. Each time I hear Eva she reminds me of my little girl (who’s not so little anymore).
Many have undertaken to imitate Eva’s arrangement and sound, but none have come close to her purity. Sit back, ensure all other sounds are silenced, and enjoy Ms. Eva Cassidy brighten your spirit!
Of all her recordings, I recommend Songbird, on which you will hear the studio version of “Over the Rainbow” (it’s actually better, if that is possible).