Eddie Boyd

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For other people named Edward Boyd, see Edward Boyd (disambiguation).
Eddie Boyd (1968).jpg

Edward Riley "Eddie" Boyd (November 25, 1914 – July 13, 1994)[1] was an American blues pianist. He was born on Stovall's Plantation, near Clarksdale, Mississippi.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Boyd moved to the Beale Street district of Memphis, Tennessee, in 1936, where he played piano and guitar with his group, the Dixie Rhythm Boys. Boyd followed the great migration north to the factories of Chicago in 1941.[2]

He wrote and recorded the songs "Five Long Years" (1952), "24 Hours" (1953), and "Third Degree" (co-written by Willie Dixon, also 1953).[2] Boyd toured Europe with Buddy Guy's band in 1965 as part of the American Folk Blues Festival.[2] 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,[1] where he recorded with the Dutch band Cuby and the Blizzards. He moved again, in 1970, to Helsinki, Finland,[2] where he recorded ten blues records, the first being Praise to Helsinki (1970). He married his wife, Leila, in 1977.

Boyd died in 1994 in Helsinki, just a few months before Eric Clapton released the chart-topping blues album From the Cradle, which includes Boyd's "Five Long Years" and "Third Degree".


Studio albums[edit]

  • 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)

Live album[edit]

  • 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)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Allmusic biography
  2. ^ a b c d e Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 94–95. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 

External links[edit]