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'Over The Rainbow'
Eva Cassidy
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It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone putting a new slant on such a well known song as “Over The Rainbow” but Eva Cassidy somehow managed it. The story of how her version made its way into the hearts of millions of music fans is just as breathtaking as the song itself.
Eva Cassidy
Song facts
Composer Arlen/Harburg
Genre Jazz
Album The Other Side / Songbird
Year of release 1992
Cassidy, a near unknown in her life, was a huge fan of the Wizard Of Oz books and had been performing the song since high school, singing The Arlen and Harburg classic in a startlingly original jazz-influenced manner.
This version features Cassidy accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and keyboards and was released on The Other Side, an album she made with local WashingtonDC musician Chuck Brown. It was only in 2001, four years after her death from cancer, that it achieved widespread recognition though, thanks to its inclusion on the posthumously released Songbird compilation.
Picked up by BBC Radio 2’s Terry Wogan in 2000, the song generated an “incredible” response, helping to thrust Songbird into the UK album chart. The tipping point came when a low-fi video recording of Cassidy singing it live was played on Top Of The Pops 2. Within weeks the album was climbing the charts again, reaching number one in March 2001.
Two subsequent releases have matched that success, giving Cassidy a fame in death she barely dreamed of in life.


Yip Harberg on writing Over The Rainbow
Yip Harberg
Lyricist Yip Harberg talks about how Over The Rainbow came to be written for Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz - "She's a little girl, she's in trouble, how would she think?"

 

Other versions
Judy Garland
 Until Eva Cassidy's version was released, Over The Rainbow was mainly associated with Judy Garland, who sang it in MGM's 1939 version of Wizard Of Oz.  

I was so moved by this version that I have told my family I want it at my funeral



Graham


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