Jeff Healey
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Jeff Healey
Jeff Healey
Jeff Healey live 1999 - © Jeff Healey Archives.jpg
Jeff Healey, live in 1999
Background information
Norman Jeffrey Healey
Born (1966-03-25)March 25, 1966
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died March 2, 2008(2008-03-02) (aged 41)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Blues rock, blues, jazz, rock
Musician, guitarist, songwriter, DJ, actor
Instruments Guitar, vocals, trumpet, piano
Labels Arista, BMG, Sony, Eagle, Sensation, Healey-O-Phonic, Stony Plain, Convexe Entertainment, Provogue, CBC, Arbor
The Jeff Healey Band, The Jazz Wizards (aka Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards), Jeff Healey's Blues Band (aka The Healey's House Band), Blue Direction

Norman Jeffrey "Jeff" Healey (March 25, 1966 - March 2, 2008) was a Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. He hit Number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Angel Eyes" and reached the Top 10 in Canada with the songs "I Think I Love You Too Much" and "How Long Can a Man Be Strong".

Early life

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Healey was raised in the city's west end. He was adopted as an infant;[1] his adoptive father was a firefighter. When he was almost one year old, Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given ocular prostheses.

Early career and success

Jeff Healey & Tom Lavin (Powder Blues Band)

Healey began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap. When he was 15,[2] Jeff Healey formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece which primarily played bar-band cover tunes and featured bassist Jeremy Littler, drummer Graydon Chapman, and a schoolmate, Rob Quail on second guitar. This band played various local clubs in Toronto, including the Colonial Tavern.

Healey began hosting a jazz and blues show on radio station CIUT-FM where he became known for playing from his massive collection of vintage 78 rpm gramophone records.[3]

Shortly thereafter he was introduced to two musicians, bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen, with whom he formed a trio, The Jeff Healey Band. This band made their first public appearance at the Birds Nest, located upstairs at Chicago's Diner on Queen Street West in Toronto. They received a write-up in Toronto's NOW magazine, and soon were playing almost nightly in local clubs, such as Grossman's Tavern and the famed blues club Albert's Hall (where Jeff Healey was discovered by guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins).

After being signed to Arista Records in 1988, the band released the album See the Light, featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes" and the song "Hideaway", which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. While the band was recording See the Light, they were also filming (and recording for the soundtrack of) the Patrick Swayze film Road House.[4] Healey had numerous acting scenes in the movie with Swayze, as his band was the house cover band for the bar featured in the movie. In 1990, the band won the Juno Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. The albums Hell to Pay and Feel This gave Healey 10 charting singles in Canada between 1990 and 1994, including a cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.[5]

Later work and life

Healey performing on August 31, 2002

By the release of the 2000 album Get Me Some, Healey began to concentrate his talent in a different musical direction closer to his heart, the appreciation for another original American music form, jazz.

He went on to release three CDs of music of traditional American jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. He had been sitting in with these types of bands around Toronto since the beginning of his music career. Though known primarily as a guitarist, Healey also played trumpet during live performances. His main jazz group for touring and recording being Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards.

Healey was an avid record collector and amassed a collection of well over 30,000 78 rpm records. Starting in 1990 he hosted a radio program of very early jazz on CIUT at the University of Toronto with Colin Bray. Later he went national on CBC Radio`s program entitled My Kind of Jazz, in which he played records from his vast vintage jazz collection. He moved the show two years later to Jazz FM - CJRT; as a part of ongoing celebrations for what would have been Healey's 50th birthday in 2016, the latter program began to air in repeats Wednesdays 9pm on[6]

For many years, Healey toured throughout North America and Europe and performed at his club, "Healey's" on Bathurst Street in Toronto, where he played with his blues band on Thursday nights and also with his jazz group on Saturday afternoons. The club moved to a bigger location at 56 Blue Jays Way and was rechristened "Jeff Healey's Roadhouse." Though he had lent his name to the club and often played there, Jeff Healey did not own or manage the bar. (The name came from the 1989 film, Road House, in which Healey appeared.) At the time of his death, he had been planning to perform a series of shows in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands with his other band, the 'Jeff Healey Blues Band' (aka the 'Healey's House Band') in April 2008.

Over the years, Healey toured and sat in with many legendary performers, including The Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, BB King, ZZ Top, Steve Lukather, Eric Clapton and many more. In 2006, Healey appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD Gillan's Inn.

Healey discovered and helped develop the careers of other musical artists, including Terra Hazelton and Amanda Marshall.[7]

In early 2009, Healey's album Mess of Blues won in The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Blues Album.[8]

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.[9][]

In 2014 Healey was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In September 2016, Jeff Healey was inducted into the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame.[10] In March 2016 the posthumous album Heal My Soul was released,[11] followed by the companion album Holding On in December of the same year.[12] Both records were compiled from unreleased recordings by Roger Costa.[13] The 12 track Heal My Soul featured six covers and a number of collaborations with Marti Frederiksen, Arnold Lanni and Stevie Salas.[14] The 15 track Holding On album contains ten live tracks recorded in 1999 at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Norway and five studio tracks.[15][16]

Illness and death

On January 11, 2007, Healey underwent surgery to remove metastatic tissue from both lungs. In the previous eighteen months, he had two sarcomas removed from his legs.[17]

On March 2, 2008, Healey died of sarcoma cancer in his home town of Toronto at age 41.[18][19]

Healey's death came a month before the release of Mess of Blues, which was his first rock/blues album in eight years.[20]

Personal life

Healey married Krista Miller in 1992; they had a daughter and were divorced in 1998. He married Cristie Hall in 2003 and had a son with her.[18][21]


Jeff Healey Band

Year Album Label and Catalog Number CAN AUS
1988 See the Light Arista AL-8553 25 33 58 22 RIAA - Platinum[25]
1990 Hell to Pay Arista ARCD-8632 5 20 18 27 RIAA - Gold
1992 Feel This Arista B000002VML 27 37 72 174 -
1995 Cover to Cover Arista B00008G71N 44 80 50 - -
2000 Get Me Some Eagle B00004T98N - - - - -

Jeff Healey Solo & with The Jazz Wizards

Year Album Label and Catalog Number US
2002 Among Friends Stony Plain B000I2KPO6 -
2004 Adventures in Jazzland Stony Plain B000I2KPOG -
2006 It's Tight Like That Stony Plain B000ETRIZ2 -
2008 Mess Of Blues Stony Plain B0016MX3F0 -
2009 Songs From The Road Stony Plain B002F040F4 -
2010 Last Call Stony Plain B0036WL32S -

Jeff Healey solo

Live albums

  • 1993: Live in Belgium (CD & DVD) (Eagle Vision)
  • 2003: Live at Healey's (Bolder)[27]
  • 2005: The Jeff Healey Band Live at Montreux 1999 (Eagle)
  • 2011: Live at Grossman's 1994 (Eagle Rock North/Convexe)
  • 2013: As The Years Go Passing By: Live in Germany 1989-1995-2000 (in-akustik)[30]
  • 2013: Live From NYC (Eagle Rock)


  • 1998 The Very Best of Jeff Healey (RCA)[31]
  • 1998 The Very Best of Jeff Healey (MSI Music Distribution)[32]
  • 1999 Master Hits (Arista)
  • 2004 The Platinum and Gold Collection (Arista)
  • 2008 Super Hits (Sony)
  • 2009 Legacy, Volume 1 (Arbor)[33][34]
  • 2013 House on Fire - Demos & Rarities (Eagle Rock North)

Compilation inclusions


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US Rock
1986 "Adrianna / See the Light" -- -- -- -- -- single only
1988 "Confidence Man" -- 84 76 -- 11 See the Light
1989 "Angel Eyes" 16 79 86 5 24
"See the Light" -- -- -- -- 33
"Raising Heaven / Hoochie Coochie Man" (by Patrick Swayze / The Jeff Healey Band) -- -- -- -- 29 Road House Soundtrack
"When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky" -- -- 99 -- --
1990 "I Think I Love You Too Much" 5 -- 98 -- 5 Hell to Pay
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" 27 -- 85 -- 7
"Full Circle" 72 -- -- -- 16
1991 "How Long Can a Man Be Strong" 8 -- -- -- 34
"How Much" 32 -- -- -- --
1992 "Cruel Little Number" 17 -- -- -- 2 Feel This
1993 "Heart of an Angel" 52 -- -- -- 20
"Lost in Your Eyes" 15 -- -- 91 --
"Leave the Light On" 60 -- -- -- --
1994 "You're Coming Home" 40 -- -- -- --
1995 "I Got a Line on You" 34 -- -- -- -- Cover To Cover
"Angel" 33 -- -- -- --
"Stuck in the Middle with You" 33 96 79 -- 39
2000 "My Life Story" -- -- -- -- -- Get Me Some
"I Tried" -- -- -- -- --
"--" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

Film, DVD

  • 1989 Road House
  • 1999 Live at Montreux[38]
  • 2004 See The Light (BMG)[39]
  • 2009 Legacy, Volume 1 (Arbor)[34]
  • 2013: As The Years Go Passing By: Live in Germany 1989-1995-2000 (in-akustik)[40]

See also


  1. ^ Jessey Bird (March 3, 2008). "Award-winning musician 'followed his own passion'". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on March 5, 2008. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ Assayas, Michka (ed.) (2000). Le dictionnaire du rock. Robert laffont, collection Bouquins. p. 775. 
  3. ^ "Jeff Healey". Retrieved 2011. 
  4. ^ "Road House (1989)". Retrieved 2011. 
  5. ^ Arista Records LP AL-8632, 1990.
  6. ^ The 50th Celebrations Start Now!
  7. ^ The Ultimate Amanda Marshall Homepage. Retrieved on 2011-09-28.
  8. ^ Independent Music Awards - 8th Annual Winners Archived July 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Agency, Q. M. I. "Park named after guitar legend Jeff Healey". Toronto Sun. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ "Our Consolation Is In The Stardust Of His Songs" - Mississauga News
  11. ^ "Heal My Soul - Jeff Healey | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Holding On: A Heal My Soul Companion - Review". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ Yates, Henry (February 23, 2016). "Heal My Soul: The story of the great 'lost' Jeff Healey album". The Blues Magazine. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ Mitchell, John (August 16, 2016). "Jeff Healey - Heal My Soul | Album Review". Blues Blast Magazine. Retrieved . 
  15. ^ "Jeff Healey - Holding On - A Heal My Soul Companion". All About The Rock. 2016-11-23. Retrieved . 
  16. ^ "Jeff Healey - Holding On". The Rocking Magpie. 2016-11-22. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ "Blues guitarist Jeff Healey recovering from lung cancer surgery". CBC News. January 16, 2007. Retrieved . 
  18. ^ a b Douglas Martin (March 4, 2008). "Jeff Healey, Guitarist and Singer, Dies at 41". New York Times. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ "Blind rocker Healey dies aged 41", BBC News, March 3, 2008,
  20. ^ Greg Quill (March 3, 2008). "Jeff Healey, 41: Canadian musician". Toronto Star. Retrieved . At the time of his death Healey was planning to release his first rock/blues album in eight years, Mess of Blues 
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
  23. ^ a b "Official Charts > Jeff Healey Band". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved . 
  24. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Jeff Healey > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved . 
  25. ^ "Gold & Platinum Results for Jeff Healey". Retrieved 2016. 
  26. ^ a b Re-released 2006, Stony Plain.
  27. ^ a b Subtitled "The Thursday Night Recordings".
  28. ^ Jeff Healey and The Jazz Wizards.
  29. ^ Live, Love, Celebrate!
  30. ^ The first release of archival material compiled with the participation and full approval of the Jeff Healey Estate. (3CD set - also available as 3CD/2DVD deluxe ed.)
  31. ^ CD re-release 2003 on RCA Camden. However, "(w)ith the 2004 merger of BMG (RCA Victor's parent company) and Sony (Columbia Records' parent company), the Camden label...(was) abandoned", implying that the re-released greatest hits package was discontinued shortly thereafter. See RCA Camden.
  32. ^ Collection issued in Germany and imported via MSI Music Distribution, based in Florida. At the time, MSI Music Distribution was one of the largest importers of recorded music in the United States. See In Other News! Super D buys MSI Music. Entry of September 13, 2007;
  33. ^ A Winnipeg-based record company, distributed by EMI in Canada, Allego Music in the United States, New Music Distribution in Germany and Disques Dorn in France. See Particulars of Arbor Records Archived March 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.;
  34. ^ a b Contains two CDs and one DVD. One CD is a collection of Healey singles, while the other CD is a collection of unreleased live material. The DVD contains "rare footage, interviews, intimate behind the scenes moments, and unseen live performances...(including) collaborations and jams with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Keith Richards, George Harrison, B.B. King, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Lynne, Sheila E, Clarence Clemons, Paul Shaffer and Dave Edmunds." See Legacy Product Description;
  35. ^ Healey plays on "I Can't Stand The Rain", with Alannah Myles.
  36. ^ Healey performs "Workin' Overtime" with Walter Trout.
  37. ^ A compilation album of live performances from the Saturday Night Blues radio program on CBC Radio, hosted by Holger Petersen. Healey's "Anything For You" (Also known as "I Would Do Anything For You", originally recorded on the Among Friends album) is included.
  38. ^ Re-released 2005, RED Distribution. Includes Jeff Healey Band 1999 performance at the Montreux Festival, plus 1997 performances of four songs at Stravinsky Hall, also in Montreux.
  39. ^ Three video clips and live performances of 10 songs taped April 14, 1989 in London, England. Includes previously unreleased video clip "When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky."
  40. ^ The first release of archival material compiled with the participation and full approval of the Jeff Healey Estate. (3CD/2DVD deluxe ed. - also available as 3 CD set)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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