This Day In Music 25.03.2016
Blind from early childhood due to retinoblastoma, got his first guitar at the age of three, and developed a unique style of playing, placing the guitar flat on his lap. Aged 15 Healey formed the band Blue Direction.
For over two decades, Jeff enjoyed a successful music career that spanned rock, blues and traditional jazz. Grammy nominee and Juno award winner, he was a radio personality (on CIUT-FM and CBC Radio), a jazz historian and world famous record collector (owning a collection of 1920’s and ‘30’s jazz 78s that would ultimately top out at over 30,000 records).
In 1989 Jeff Healey hit #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with Angel Eyes.
Here's a live version OF Angel Eyes live at Notodden (Norway) Blues Festival, August 2006
Healey also reached the Top 10 in Canada with 2 songs: I Think I Love You Too Much (#5 in 1990) and How Long Can a Man Be Strong (#8 in 1991)
Below The Jeff Healey Band's video of I Think I Love You Too Much
With the Jeff Healey Band, he recorded five studio albums: See the Light (1988), Hell to Pay (1990), Feel This (1992), Cover to Cover (1995) and Get Me Some (2000). Healey contributed to the soundtrack of the cult classic film, Patrick Swayze’s Road House, a film in which Jeff and the band were featured prominently.
Below the official video for the Doors song Roadhouse Blues as performed by Jeff Healey in the 1989 film, Road House
Over the years, Jeff’s reputation as a player and a person led him to perform and record with such incredible luminaries as Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Ian Gillan and many more.
Enjoy Stevie Ray Vaughan & Jeff Healey performing live (on a tv show) Look at Little Sister
In addition to countless recording sessions as a guitarist, trumpet player, singer and producer, Jeff also recorded three albums of the traditional American jazz that he loved so much: Among Friends (2002), Adventures in Jazzland (2004) and It's Tight Like That (2006). Just prior to his untimely passing, Jeff put the finishing touches on the award winning ‘Mess Of Blues’, his first rock/blues album in nine years. Mess of Blues won The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Blues Album.
Throughout Jeff’s successful career, he was an advocate for both the blind and literacy. He showed his support by lending his name and volunteering his time to various CNIB fundraisers and Toronto’s Word On The Street festival.
Jeff Healey passed away on March 2nd, 2008 after a three-year battle with sarcoma cancer. He was 41-years-old.
In 2009, Healey was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, in June 2011, Woodford Park in Toronto was renamed Jeff Healey Park in his honour and in 2014 Healey was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.