Is anyone familiar with the singer Eva Cassidy?

I have a high school reunion coming up and one of my classmates used to perform with her–which got me thinking about her.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, she had some number 1 songs in the UK, although being an American. Unfortunately, this fame came after she passed away of cancer.

From Wikipedia:

Her voice was amazing. I don’t know much about singing, but it seems a rare combination of emotional depth and technical skill.

Check out Fields of Gold and Over the Rainbow just to start you off.

Also: The Eva Cassidy Story - on ABC Nightline

One of her songs, “Songbird,” was in *Love Actually.

Do a search on the SDMB and you’ll see that I’ve talked about her many times. The first time I mentioned her here was in 2002. I’ve been a fan of hers since 2001. I’ve bought all her albums and the two biographies of her. I regularly check YouTube to see who’s recently covered her interpretations of the songs she sang (although she did very few original songs). Here’s a website that’s been going since 1999 run by one of her cousins:

Although she isn’t nearly among the top-selling artists of all times, since she’s only sold something on the order of 10 million albums, far from the record of 600 million or so albums, she must have the largest group of devoted fans for someone who’s only sold a modestly large number of albums. There are quite a few well known singers who think she’s great. A lot of singers at various TV talent shows around the world sing “her songs” on the shows and talk about how they’ve been inspired by her. (I put “her songs” in quotation marks because of course she didn’t originally do them, since she did few original songs, but her fans consider her interpretations to be the definitive versions of those songs.) Many other fans cover her interpretations on YouTube.

She had a beautiful voice and a knack for interpreting songs. I didn’t think there could be a more beautiful version of Songbird than Christine McVie’s, but Eva Cassidy changed my mind. It seems like every song she did surpassed all previous versions.

I didn’t find out about her until after her death, and I was amazed at how sad I was when, after hearing a few songs, I looked her up on Wikipedia and discovered that she had died.

Huge talent. Live At Blues Alley is my favorite album. It’s mostly jazz and folk standards, not blues as the album title would suggest.

Who’s your classmate who performed with her?

Yes !!! Just recently learned of her through my girlfriend. “Live at Blues Alley” is an amazing CD (double).

I have one of her CDs, given to me by my sister, who likes her very much. I like Cassidy’s singing but can’t say I’m a huge fan.

I bought the Songbird CD after hearing a track on an audio stream from Australia.

My favorite performer. Time After Time brings me to tears.

She’s in heavy rotation on my systems.

Love her. Only got turned on to her by a coworker a few years ago.

I’m as familiar as one can be, given her very limited library. If I could resurrect two relatively obscure singers who died way too early, I’d resurrect her and Israel Kamakawiwo`ole, both who are ironically known for their fresh takes on “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” (Though my favorite Iz song is “Hawaii '78” which still gives me goosebumps.)

Cheek To Cheek from Live At Blues Alley

One of my favorite EC cuts.

Her library isn’t that limited. I haven’t counted to figure out how many songs are available by her. It’s dozens of them anyway. There are more recordings not yet released:

If they ain’t released, they ain’t available!

I’ve got songs from 12 of her albums on my puter. Some are repeats as I’ve got the HD capacity so I haven’t culled them down. She was great.

I didn’t say the unreleased ones are available. I said that there are lots of her songs that have been released (and hence available), and beyond that there are others that haven’t been released (and hence unavailable at the moment). If someone would like to count, they could tell us how many her songs are currently available.

If you haven’t read it, check out When Chuck Met Eva. Washington Post article from the late nineties, shortly after her death, which does a good job portraying the kind of person she was.