Jeff Healey, August 31, 2002
March 25, 1966|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died||March 2, 2008
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Genres||Blues-rock, blues, jazz, rock|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, DJ, actor|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, trumpet|
|Labels||Arista, RCA, BMG, Eagle, Stony Plain, CBC, Arbor, Sony|
|Associated acts||The Jeff Healey Band, Blue Direction, The Jazz Wizards|
|1986 Squier E Series Stratocaster|
Norman Jeffrey "Jeff" Healey (March 25, 1966 – March 2, 2008) was a blind Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.
Early life 
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Healey was raised in the city's west end. He was adopted as an infant; his adoptive father was a firefighter. When he was 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 artificial replacements.
Early career and success 
Healey began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap. When he was 15, Jeff Healey formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece band which primarily played bar-band cover tunes. Among the other musicians were 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.
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. 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.
Later work and life 
By the release of the 2000 album Get Me Some, Healey began to concentrate his talent in another direction closer to his heart, which was 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. He had, from time to time, hosted a CBC Radio program entitled My Kind of Jazz, in which he played records from his vast vintage jazz collection. He hosted a program with a similar name on Toronto jazz station CJRT-FM; as of 2010, the latter program continues to air in repeats.
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 Dire Straits, 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.
Illness and death 
On March 2, 2008, Healey died of cancer at St. Joseph's Health Centre in his home town of Toronto. He was 41 years old. His death came a month before the release of Mess of Blues, which was his first rock/blues album in eight years.
Healey is survived by his wife, Cristie, and two children. A tribute concert was held on May 3, 2008, to benefit Daisy's Eye Cancer Fund, which, according to Cristie Healey, had helped make major strides in research and future advances for people born with the same genetically inherited retinoblastoma which led to her husband's blindness at eleven months of age. Cristie and Jeff Healey's son was also born with the same disability.
In 2009, Healey was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.
In October 2012, his family launched the 'all-new' official website at Jeffhealey.com.
Jeff Healey Band 
|1988||See the Light||25||22||58|
|1990||Hell to Pay||5||27||18|
|1995||Cover to Cover||44||-||50|
|2000||Get Me Some||-||-||-|
Jeff Healey solo 
- 2002: Among Friends
- 2003: Live at Healey's (Bolder)
- 2004: Adventures in Jazzland (Healeyophonic)
- 2006: It's Tight Like That (Stony Plain)
- 2008: Mess of Blues
- 2009: Songs From The Road (Stony Plain)
- 2010: Last Call (Stony Plain Records)
Live albums 
- 2003: Live at Healey's (Bolder)
- 2005: The Jeff Healey Band Live at Montreux 1999 (Eagle)
- 2011: Live At Grossman's 1994 (Eagle Rock North/Convexe)
- 1998 The Very Best of Jeff Healey (RCA)
- 1998 The Very Best of Jeff Healey (MSI Music Distribution)
- 1999 Master Hits (Arista)
- 2004 The Platinum and Gold Collection (Arista)
- 2008 Super Hits (Sony)
- 2009 Legacy, Volume 1 (Arbor)
Compilation inclusions 
- 2002 While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- 2004 What's Love? A Tribute to Tina Turner (Versailles)
- 2006 Ruf Records Anthology: 12 Years of Where Blues Crosses Over (Ruf Records)
- 2006 Saturday Night Blues: 20 Years (CBC)
|"See the Light"||—||—||—||—|
|1990||"I Think I Love You Too Much"||5||—||5||—|
|"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"||27||—||—||85|
|1991||"How Long Can a Man Be Strong"||8||—||34||—|
|1992||"Cruel Little Number"||17||—||—||—|
|1993||"Heart of an Angel"||52||—||—||—|
|"Lost in Your Eyes"||15||91||—||—|
|"Leave a Light On"||60||—||—||—|
|1994||"You're Coming Home"||40||—||—||—|
|1995||"I Got a Line on You"||34||—||—||—|
|"Stuck in the Middle with You"||33||—||39||—|
|2000||"My Life Story"||—||—||—||—|
Film, DVD 
- 1989 Road House
- 1999 Live At Montreux
- 2004 See The Light (BMG)
- 2009 Legacy, Volume 1 (Arbor)
See also 
- Jessey Bird (2008-03-03). "Award-winning musician 'followed his own passion'". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Assayas, Michka (ed.) (2000). Le dictionnaire du rock. Robert laffont, collection Bouquins. p. 775.
- "Jeff Healey". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- "Road House (1989)". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- Arista Records LP AL-8632, 1990.
- The Ultimate Amanda Marshall Homepage. Pages.infinit.net. Retrieved on 2011-09-28.
- Independent Music Awards – 8th Annual Winners
- CBC.ca: Blues guitarist Jeff Healey recovering from lung cancer surgery Accessed 2007-01-16
- "Blind rocker Healey dies aged 41", BBC News, March 3, 2008,
- "Canadian blues guitarist Jeff Healey dies at 41". CTV News. 2008-03-00. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- Greg Quill (2008-03-03). "Jeff Healey, 41: Canadian musician". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-04-26. "At the time of his death Healey was planning to release his first rock/blues album in eight years, Mess of Blues"
- Douglas Martin (2008-03-04). "Jeff Healey, Guitarist and Singer, Dies at 41". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- "Daisys Eye Cancer Fund". Sick Kids Foundation. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- Tribute concert address. Youtube.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-28.
- "[Jeff Healey] Jeff Healey.com has launched". Us5.campaign-archive2.com. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
- Re-released 2006, Stony Plain.
- Subtitled "The Thursday Night Recordings".
- Jeff Healey and The Jazz Wizards.
- 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.
- 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; www.myblogutopia.com.
- 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; www.arborrecords.com.
- 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; www.cduniverse.com.
- Healey plays on "I Can't Stand The Rain", with Alannah Myles.
- Healey performs "Workin' Overtime" with Walter Trout.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jeff Healey|
- Official website
- Jeff Healey biography at CanadianBands.com
- NY Times Obituary
- BBC News Item announcing Healey's death
- Obituary in The Times