To Anyone Who Ever Asks

To Anyone Who Ever Asks

By Howard Fishman



The mysterious true story of Connie Converse - a mid-century New York singer and songwriter whose haunting music never gained widespread recognition - and one writer's quest to understand her life. When musician and New Yorker contributor Howard Fishman first heard a Connie Converse recording, he was convinced she could not be real. Her music was too out of place for the 1950s to make sense - a singer who bridged the gap between traditional Americana, pop standards, and the singer-songwriter movement that exploded a decade later with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Fishman was determined to know more about this artist and how she slipped through the cracks of music history but there was one problem: in 1974, at the age of fifty, Converse simply drove off one day and was never heard from again. After a dozen years of research, Fishman expertly weaves a narrative of her life and music, and of how it has come to speak to him as both an artist and a person. It is by turns a hopeful, inspiring, melancholy, and chilling story of dark family secrets, taciturn New England traditions, a portrait of 1950s Greenwich Village, of a visionary intellect and talent, and a woman who fiercely strove for independence when the odds were against her. Ultimately, Fishman places Converse in the canon as a vital, overlooked trailblazer, a missing link pre-empting the reflective, complex, arresting music that transformed the 1960s and music forever.

ISBN: 9781035408870


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