Musician’s Musicians: Eva a Songbird

Musician's Musicians, Eva CassidyEva a Songbird

We weren’t on a date.  We were just two co-workers meeting at the movie theater.  Never mind that he bought my ticket before I arrived.  Never mind that he gave me the armrest.  We weren’t on a date.

It was a weeknight and a late showing of In Good Company.  We sat in the quiet, nearly empty theater, making conversation before the previews began.

“Who are your top five favorite singers?” Big D asked.

“Oh, wow.  It’s hard to choose.  Um . . . Pavarotti” I answered; counting on my thumb.

“Really.  You like opera?”

“Well, I’m trained in operatic music.  So, yeah.  I got to see him in concert” I boasted.

“What was that like?”

“The acoustics sucked, and it was late in his career, so he wasn’t in his prime.  But it was amazing” I answered.  Then getting back to the game, I counted on my pointer finger, “Vince Gill.”

“He’s a great guitarist too” he said.

“Oh!  Of course!  Eva Cassidy” I remembered.  Now the game was getting exciting.

“Who?”

“Eva Cassidy” I repeated.

He shook his head.

“Oh my gosh.  You’ve never heard of her?  I used to sing her stuff at gigs in Texas.  My friend Paula introduced me to her music.”

“What kind of music does she sing?” Big D asked.

Did sing.  She died of cancer in her 30’s.  Jazz, blues, folk, everything.  She had trouble finding a label that would sign her, so her family was really responsible for getting her music out there after she passed away” I answered.

He seemed genuinely interested (but we weren’t on a date?), so I kept talking.  “She had the most brilliant arrangements of ‘Fields of Gold’, ‘Autumn Leaves’ . . . her version of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ is the most beautiful I’ve ever heard.  In fact, I didn’t perform that one very often because it just can’t be topped.”

“I’ve never heard of her before” he said.

I couldn’t tell for sure, but I thought I heard esteem in his voice.  It was the first and last time I ever stumped Big D over a musician.

When I introduce people to Eva’s music, I have mixed feelings.  I’m saddened that people still haven’t heard of her, but honored that I get to be the one to tell them.  Eva is this songbird’s songbird.

– Anita, Noted in Nashville

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