Eddie Boyd in 1968
|Birth name||Edward Riley Boyd|
November 25, 1914|
Shelby or near Stovall, Mississippi, United States
|Died||July 13, 1994
|Occupation(s)||Singer, musician, songwriter|
Edward Riley "Eddie" Boyd[nb 1] (November 25, 1914 – July 13, 1994) was an American blues pianist, singer and songwriter, best known for his recordings in the early 1950s including the number one R&B chart hit "Five Long Years".
Life and career
He was born either on Stovall's Plantation, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, or on Frank Moore's Plantation, near Stovall, Mississippi. He learned guitar and piano, on which he was influenced by the styles of Roosevelt Sykes and Leroy Carr.
Boyd moved to the Beale Street district of Memphis, Tennessee, in 1936, where he played with his group, the Dixie Rhythm Boys. He then joined the great migration north to the factories of Chicago in 1941. He recorded for Bluebird Records, accompanying such musicians as Sonny Boy Williamson, Jazz Gillum, Muddy Waters, and Tampa Red, before making his first recordings under his own name in 1947.
He decided to produce his own recordings, and took two demos to Joe Brown at J.O.B. Records, who agreed to re-record the tracks. In May 1952 he recorded "Five Long Years", which became a huge hit, topping the Billboard R&B chart for seven weeks towards the end of the year. He signed to the Parrot label, who then sold his contract to Chess. Boyd had two further hits on Chess in 1953, "24 Hours", and "Third Degree" (co-written by Willie Dixon), which both reached number 3 on the R&B chart.
He went on to record for a series of smaller labels in the 1950s, but an automobile accident in 1957 affected his career. Boyd toured Europe with Buddy Guy's band in 1965 as part of the American Folk Blues Festival. He later toured and recorded with Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.
Tired of the racial discrimination he experienced in the United States, he moved to Belgium, where he recorded with the Dutch band Cuby and the Blizzards. He moved again, in 1970, to Helsinki, Finland, where he continued to perform and recorded ten blues records, the first being Praise to Helsinki (1970). He married his wife, Leila, in 1977.
- Five Long Years (Fontana, 1966)
- Eddie Boyd and His Blues Band Featuring Peter Green (Decca, 1967)
- 7936 South Rhodes (Blue Horizon, 1968)
- Praise to Helsinki (Love Records, 1970)
- The Legacy of the Blues, vol. 10 (Sonet, 1974)
- Brotherhood (Finnish Blues Society, 1975)
- My Lady (Lobo, 1978)
- Soulful (Magic Angel, 1980)
- A Sad Day (Paris, 1980)
- Lover's Playground (Stockholm, 1984)
- Eddie Boyd Live (Storyville, 1976)
- Vacation from the Blues (Jefferson, 1976)
- Rattin' and Runnin' Around (Crown Prince, 1981)
- No More of This Third Degree (Teldec, 1982)
- The Best of Eddie Boyd (P-Vine, 1984)
- Third Degree (Orbis/Charly, 1993)
- The Complete Recordings, vols. 1 and 2 (EPM, 2001, 2004)
- Eddie Boyd in Finland (Blue North, 2005)
- The Blues Is Here to Stay (Jasmine, 2013)
- Vacation from the Blues (Mojo, 2015)
- "Five Long Years", Blues Masters, vol. 2: Postwar Chicago (Rhino)
- "24 Hours", The Best of Chess Blues, vol. 1 (Chess/MCA)
- live version on American Folk Blues Festival '65 (L&R/Bellaphon)
- "Third Degree", A Tribute to Willie Dixon: 1915–1992 (Chess)
- Chicago Blues Festival
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
- List of blues musicians
- List of Chicago blues musicians
- List of electric blues musicians
- List of people from Mississippi
- Researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc give his birth name as Will Joe Boyd Jr.
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 41-42.
- Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 192. ISBN 978-0313344237.
- Allmusic biography by Bill Dahl. Retrieved 13 October 2016
- Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 94–95. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
- Robert L. Campbell et al., "The JOB Label". Retrieved 13 October 2016