One of the bestselling female songbirds of the 70s with her soulful singing, Eva Vivar helped define the decade of earnest, novelty-ridden adult pop with throw-away hits like “Mr. Love,” “Tiny Bubbles” and “Nobody’s Child.”
She began at the age of four, singing and dancing to the delight of her father, who really wanted her to join showbiz. With his support, Eva was able to find an outlet for her talents in La Tondeña roadshows. They would have weekly shows in the provinces.
Eva’s natural talent was so luminous, she was recruited to do an international film with screen goddess Ursula Andres and her former hubby John Derek. The film was “Once Before I Die.” It was shot in Subic and also featured Ron Kelly, the first Tarzan.
When she was in third year high school, she was discovered by Ofelia Angeles, the Reyna ng Balagtasan. Eva was enrolled at UST (University of Sto Tomas ), where Ofelia used to work. She saw Eva in one of the declamation contests and invited her to join their show in Sta. Maria, Bulacan where she would sing covers of Eddie Peregrina songs. Then and there, the Big 3 Sullivans and Ofelia Angeles convinced Eva to try professional singing.
When she agreed, they took her Alpha Records Buddy de Vera. She was given a contract and songs to record in no time. Her first single was “A Girl’s Prayer” but her biggest hits were “Mr. Love,” “Nobody’s Child” and “Ako’y Iniwan Mo” with narration by Vic Silayan.”
Eva’s period in showbiz is marked as the golden age of local recording with Nora Aunor as the headliner. During this time, young stars like Lirio Vital, Manny de Leon, Rhodora Silva, Jay Ilagan and Darius Razon were also signed up by Alpha.
She married at age 19 and marriage also meant quitting showbiz in those days. And so, in 1975, Eva bid showbiz adieu and married Gerardo Chiong. The next ten years saw Eva singing with the Cruise Master’s Band on a ship where her husband worked as staff captain. The marriage was short-lived. After the birth of their only child Evangeline Wednesday, and eleven years of marriage, Eva and her husband parted ways.
In her quest to find peace of mind, she studied Christian Education and graduated cum laude from the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministry. She also reunited with her husband Gerardo in 2006 after twenty years apart. She know devotes her time to family and the music ministry of her church.
Here we have her version of “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The song was written in collaboration with Lori Lieberman, who recorded the song in late 1971. In 1973 it became a number-one hit in the United States and Canada for Roberta Flack.
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