I’m working on the third last scene of “Of Old Men…”, two more to go then I tie them together and begin the editing process. The emotional key in this scene is a song. It’s one that a late member of the band always wanted to perform but the other members didn’t feel it fit with their image. “What A Wonderful World” is one of those pieces of music that always strikes an emotional chord and one of the most powerful versions for me is by Eva Cassidy. There are few singers I can listen to and never grow tired of and she is one. She has a world-wide following yet most have never heard of her and that’s sad. If you love real music and an incredible voice you need to hear Eva.
I have ten of her cds, mostly covers with a few originals. These compilations are from a couple of trips to the studio, demo takes, and re-mastered live performances. Pop, rock, folk, and standards like “Autumn Leaves” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”…she sings them all with the purest voice I’ve ever heard. An accomplished guitarist and artist she did the coffee house circuit but preferred her time in the garden unaware of the fan base she was building. Then she realized who some of the people that had become her audience were…people that had come to see her. People like Sting, Paul McCartney, Roberta Flack, Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood…the list goes on. Mick Fleetwood played drums for Eva, considering it a privilege and Sir Paul wanted to do a duet with her. She had arrived…but it was too late.
In 1996, at the age of 33, Eva Cassidy passed away from cancer. After her death Europe discovered her music and she topped the music charts in popularity and sales. She would never know how cherished she would become on the world stage.
At her final performance she was weak and unable to walk unassisted to the stage. She and her audience knew that this might be that last time. “What A Wonderful World” would be the last song she would ever sing and I still can’t hear it without choking up.
In 2001 Ted Coppel devoted an entire Nightline episode to Eva and I have included that link.