Connie Converse Was History’s First Modern Singer-Songwriter, But She Mysteriously Vanished In The Summer Of 1974 After Searching For A Fresh Start

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One summer day in 1974, Connie Converse, history’s first modern singer-songwriter, drove off looking for a fresh start. She was never seen again. Her legacy lives on in her trailblazing music. Nearly 50 years after her mysterious disappearance, her music has never been more popular.

Connie Converse was a female folk songwriter during a time when such a profession didn’t really exist. No one knew her name, and it might’ve stayed that way had it not been for her friend Gene Deitch, who saved tapes of her songs that were recorded in an apartment in 1954. The songs were revealed to the world upon the release of an album titled How Sad, How Lonely in 2009.

Sadly, Connie Converse never got to experience the fame and fortune that comes with being in the spotlight. Right after turning 50 years old, she sent letters to her friends and family, telling them that she wanted a fresh start in life, and then she vanished. But why did she disappear? And where did she go? Here is her story.

Connie Converse was born Elizabeth Eaton Converse on August 3, 1924, in Laconia, New Hampshire. She had an older brother, Paul, and a younger brother, Philip. She was highly intelligent and earned a full scholarship to Mount Holyoke College, which her mother and grandmother had both attended. However, she did not finish school and ended up dropping out after her second year.

She headed to New York to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer and musician. She also changed her name to Connie and took up drinking and smoking, rejecting the traditional lifestyle her strict parents brought her up in.

While in New York, she wrote poetry, took up drawing and painting, and taught herself how to play guitar. She had an apartment in Greenwich Village, where she wrote and recorded her music.

Connie was not the type of person to be concerned with her physical appearance. She did not wear makeup and often swept her hair back in a ponytail or bun. She was also a very private, solitary person and felt that she had a hard time connecting with others.

In 1954, she performed her songs in Gene Deitch’s apartment in front of a small audience. Her music stunned everyone in attendance. It was folksy, eerie, sophisticated, and spoke to listeners in a way that hadn’t been done before.

Soon after, she appeared live on The Morning Show on CBS. However, the exposure did not help her career take off. She never received a recording contract or went on any tours.

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