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029: Eva Cassidy, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

Golden-haired, golden-voiced, painfully shy Eva Cassidy died in 1996 at 33 of skin cancer, unknown outside her native D.C.
She found posthumous fame three years later, via a British DJ.
Too kitsch to be true?
Listen to her. Truer words were never sung.
And have your handkerchief ready.

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009: Barbra Streisand, ‘Lover Come Back to Me’

At 22 Barbra Streisand traded guts for glitz and sacrificed her artistry on the altar of auto-adulation. She became a megastar cum décolletage, morphing from a talented loser into a loser of a talent. Here she is aged 20 –a truly stunning vocal artist.

For your browsing edification, we’ve added a chronological index of all 170 SoTW postings to the What’s New tab.

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054: Mickey & Sylvia, ‘Love is Strange’

Mickey Baker & Little Sylvia Robinson (nee Vanderpool), Ben Watt & Tracey Thorn, Buddy Holly & Bo Diddley (separately!), 3 bejillion viewers of ‘Dirty Dancing’, even you and I once upon a time– we have all been testifying and sleazing for 50 years on now–love is very strange indeed .

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057: Anita O’Day, ‘Tea for Two

Anita O’Day at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival–so cool, so hip, so talented. Take a gander. She’ll knock you out of your chair.

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052: The Lovin’ Spoonful, ‘Girl, Beautiful Girl’

In which Jeff recounts the story of how he maybe turned down a job with a very famous Hollywood director.

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049: Chrysalis (J. Spider Barbour), ‘Summer in Your Savage Eyes’

This week’s SoTW is long, even by my shaggy dog standards. What can you do? It’s a long story, spanning 45 years. It spins the strange tale of an obscure artist, his music, J. Spider Barbour and his band Chrysalis. The story as I tell it is full of detours, tangents, and irrelevancies; so don’t expect a “well-made” dramatic storyline here. Only a bizarre chain of events in which real life and fantasy intertwine in their ironic and inextricable way.

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053: The Beatles, ‘In My Life’

Even though they misinterpreted the song, who can deny it’s one of the greatest, ever?

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010: Charles Mingus, ‘Remember Rockefeller at Attica’

Opening cuts–those songs that look the room’s silence right in the eye and say, ‘Stand back man, watch this!’ Beethoven’s Fifth. George’s ‘Hard Day’s Night’. This Mingus gem.

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