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Released to theaters in 1939, The Wizard of Oz has left an unparalleled cultural impact and legacy of song on American pop culture. The story of Dorothy, the farm girl from Kansas, and her companions, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow -- oh, and Toto, too! -- reaches across the globe in one of the most internationally viewed films of all time.

Although "Yesterday" by The Beatles is the number one most recorded cover song, I'd be willing to bet that more people are familiar with "Over the Rainbow," the song ranked #1 by the American Film Institute on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.

I love the film and the song, so my entry in today's Music Monday is three different cover versions of "Over the Rainbow." I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do!

A Tribute to "Over the Rainbow"


Eva Cassidy, Live at Blues Alley in 1996
When Eva Cassidy died of skin cancer in 1996, she was virtually unknown outside her hometown of Washington, D.C. But four years later, when Terry Rogan of BBC Radio 2 played an obscure CD based on the recommendation of his producer and Top of the Pop aired a black and white video of Eva Cassidy singing "Over the Rainbow," something magical happened: Eva Cassidy achieved worldwide fame posthumously. An article in The Guardian notes that "There's an undeniable emotional appeal in hearing an artist who you know died in obscurity singing a song about hope and a mystical world beyond everyday life."

Sam Harris, Star Search 1983
Before American Idol, there was Star Search. When Sam Harris belted out his bluesy version of "Over the Rainbow," the American public paid attention. He went on to win the competition in the show's premier season. With a performance like this one, how could he not have won?

Leona Lewis, X-Factor 2007
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3 Responses
  1. Susan Says:

    Over the Rainbow ranks as one of my top ten favorites. The Eva Cassidy version is one of the best. I have that CD. Martina McBride also has a beautiful a Capella cut on her "Martina" CD.

    When my grandkids spend the night this is one of three songs I always sing for them at bedtime after the stories are read. We turn out the lights and first is "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", then "Are the Stars Out Tonight", then "Over the Rainbow". It never varies, because you know how children love rituals.

    Nice post, Carleen.

  2. Susan Says:

    Oops, I misremembered. The Martina version is NOT a Capella, but still beautiful. It's a live recording.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Eva Cassidy's is a beautiful rendition of Over the Rainbow. Never heard it but so enjoyed it :) The other two are good but I liked her's best. Excellent my friend :)

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