Sunday, March 2, 2008

Canadian blues guitarist Jeff Healey dies at 41



Updated Sun. Mar. 2 2008 8:38 PM ET


CTV.ca News Staff


Legendary blues and jazz guitarist Jeff Healey has died, his publicist said Sunday. The Canadian musician had battled cancer his entire life.


"It was something he fought with considerable bravery," his publicist, Richard Flohil, told Newsnet late Sunday.


Healey, 41, had lost his eyesight to a rare form of the disease, Retinoblastoma, at the age of one.


The musician had performed with such acclaimed guitar players as B. B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and George Harrison.


His full name was Norman Jeffrey Healey and he passed away Sunday in the city of his birth, Toronto, at St. Joseph's Hospital.


Healey first began playing guitar at the age of three and formed his first band while still a teenager, according to his website. He played with a very distinctive style, laying his guitar on his lap.


"Visually, Jeff was an intriguing player to watch, because he played guitar -- by any conventional standard -- all wrong, with it flat across his lap," said Flohil. "But he was remarkable, a virtuoso player."


One of his best-known songs, "Angel Eyes," came from the Grammy-nominated album See the Light.


His blues band, simply called the Jeff Healey Band, has sold more than 1 million albums in the United States. But along with rock and blues music, Healey was also an accomplished jazz musician.


In his final years he had hosted a jazz program on Jazz-FM in Toronto, playing rare tracks from his vast collection of more than 30,000 78-rpm records.


He had also been touring with a group called the Jazz Wizards, playing American jazz from the 1920s, 1930s and early 1940s.


They had been planning to perform a series of shows in Britain, German and Holland in April.


Healey leaves behind his wife, Cristie, 13-year-old daughter Rachel and three-year-old son Derek.

..and on a personal note.. Healey's song "Angel Eyes" got me through my first year in Art School. I would stay up late nights listening to that song on a cassete I checked out from the Rolling Meadows Library. I would pull all nighters with That song going through my head..


Girl, you're looking, fine tonight,
and every guy has got you in his sights.
What you're doing, with a clown like me,
is surely one of life's little, mysteries

So tonight I'll ask the stars above,
"How did I ever win your love?"
What did I do?
What did I say,
to turn your angel eyes my way?

Well, I'm the guy who never learned to dance,
never even got one second glance
Across a crowded room was close enough,
I could look but I could never touch

So tonight I'll ask, the stars above,
"How did I ever win your love?"
What did I do?
What did I say,
to turn your angel eyes my way?

Don't anyone wake me,
if it's just a dream
'Cause she's the best thing,
ever happened to me

All you fellows, you can look all you like,
but this girl you see, she's leavin' here with me tonight

There's just one more thing that I need to know,
if this is love why does it scare me so?
It must be somethin only you can see,
'cause girl I feel it when you look at me

So tonight I'll ask the stars above,
"How did I ever win your love?"
What did I do?
What did I say,
to turn your angel eyes my way?
hey, hey, hey, yeah, awww


Good night, Jeff!

No comments:

John and Dave talks Oscar nomination predictions