Internationally renowned singer Eva Cassidy, who died from melanoma in 1996 at the age of 33, has been cultivating new fans in the U.S. as her signature rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s classic “Time After Time” serves as the soundtrack for Kay Jewelers’ national advertising campaign that has been running throughout the holiday season. On January 15, Blix Street Records will release ACOUSTIC featuring 20 of Eva Cassidy’s best loved acoustic tracks. “Time After Time” will lead off the new collection, which also includes favorites such as her acoustic interpretations of “Wade in the Water,” “Kathy’s Song,” “Autumn Leaves,” “American Tune” and “Songbird."
Additionally, the new year’s weekend marked the 25th Anniversary of Cassidy and her band performing at the Blues Alley nightclub in Washington, DC for what was to become the only solo Eva Cassidy album released during her lifetime. The audio and video recordings of the January 3, 1996 performance would become the basis for the original LIVE AT BLUES ALLEY album (first released locally in D.C. during the spring of 1996) and prove to be the foundation of Eva Cassidy’s unparalleled posthumous international success. Goldmine Magazine has written about the recording: “Indeed, the entire performance is utterly spellbinding, an album that not only transports you back to the night, but also to a host of different eras as well. Magical.”
To commemorate the January 3 anniversary, a brand-new documentary entitled Eva Cassidy – ONE NIGHT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING premiered on YouTube. The film, by British television director Attracta McLaughlin, contains footage from the historic concert, and, in addition, Eva’s band members--bassist Chris Biondo, pianist Lenny Williams, lead guitarist Keith Grimes and drummer Raice McLeod--revisit the Blues Alley venue to view video performances from the night with then and now perspectives. The documentary has already had more than 280,000 views a week after release.
The Eva Cassidy – ONE NIGHT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING documentary is available for viewing here.
The Kay Jewelers Someday campaign, as in “someday I’ll marry you,” was rolled out in October on various primetime cable shows on E!, AMC, Oxygen, TLC and others and then expanded to include :15 second and long form variations on the theme, all giving Cassidy’s singular voice exposure to an ever-growing audience.
The initial :30 spot has racked up more than 250,000 views on YouTube while its longform :90 second version, launched for the 2020 holidays, can be viewed here.
Born in Washington, DC, Eva Cassidy recorded and performed in the area for several years until her untimely death at age 33. She left behind a small, but prodigious canon of recordings that has been meticulously curated and compiled by Blix Street Records, an independent label now based outside of Seattle, with the support of her parents, Barbara and Hugh Cassidy.
In April, 1998, Blix Street posthumously released SONGBIRD, a collection chosen primarily from two other Cassidy albums, LIVE AT BLUES ALLEY and EVA BY HEART. It featured Sting’s “Fields of Gold” and Eva’s unqualified signature performance of “Over the Rainbow” (taken from an album called THE OTHER SIDE recorded with Washington, DC’s “King of Go-Go” Chuck Brown). Later that same year, Blix Street also released the complete LIVE AT BLUES ALLEY and EVA BY HEART, the first national exposure for both albums, followed in May, 2000 by TIME AFTER TIME, a new compilation selected from her then-unreleased material.
2001 would see Eva Cassidy become an “overnight sensation” as SONGBIRD reached #1 on the British charts, setting off a feeding frenzy among the media on both sides of the Atlantic. In the U.S., everyone from People Magazine to ABC News Nightline to The Today Show to VH-1 News had weighed in on the Eva Cassidy phenomenon. SONGBIRD has been certified Platinum in the U.S. for sales of more than 1,000,000 units and is 6x Platinum in England.
Cassidy’s wide-ranging, but unerringly tasteful, sense of material kept her from a recording contract during her lifetime, but that taste continues to propel interest in her recorded work all these years later. Blix Street has released more than a dozen Eva Cassidy collections since 1998.
This is Eva Cassidy sings “Time After Time” at the Blues Alley nightclub on January 3, 1996: