Jeff Healey, the adopted son of Yvonne & Bud Healey, was born in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) and raised in the suburb of Etobicoke. He lost his sight to a form of cancer - retinoblastoma at the age of one. Getting his first guitar at the age of three, he worked out his own unique way of playing lap-top style. He soon began playing and singing in clubs in and around the Toronto area. His choice of songs varied from rock, heavy metal, jazz, country and blues. In 1985, he recorded a video, "Adrianna", which was played on Canada's Much Music tv channel. The same year, legendry Blues guitarist Albert Collins invited Jeff to play with him live on stage, on the suggestion of a friend. Other blues legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B.King (who played along with Jeff at a Vancouver music festival in early 1986) also were impressed with the 19 year old, became his friends and Healey quickly became a hot name in the blues and guitar circles.
He formed the Jeff Healey Band, with Joe Rockman on bass and Tom Stephen on drums. A lot of attention was focussed on Jeff's playing style that involves using all five fingers of his left hand to create the sounds of his guitar playing. His debut album 'See The Light' was released by Arista Records in 1988 and contained the hits "Confidence Man" (#10 in the US) & "Angel Eyes" (#5). The album itself peaked at #22 on the US Bilboard charts. "See The Light" was also released as a single and the track "Hideaway" recieved a Grammy nomination for 'Best Intrumental Rock Performer'. Jeff was also awarded the Billboard's "International Achievement Award", Coca Award for "Entertainer of the Year", Toronto Music Awards for "Mayors Award", "Best Toronto Guitarist", "Best Toronto Group with International Acclaim" and Music Express Awards "Male Vocalist of the Year" & "Best Live Act of the Year". The album sold over Triple Platinum in Canada and over 2 million elsewhere. The following year, Jeff and his band appeared in the movie 'Road House' (starring Patrick Swaze & Kelly Lynch) and played all the songs on the soundtrack album. The Jeff Healey Band appears as The Double Deuce bar band in the film.
|By now, Jeff had also won "Best New Talent" and "Best Blues Guitarist" awards in the readers poll in Guitar Player magazine. The next album 'Hell To Pay' was released in 1990. This is one of the best albums I have ever heard by any artist and I consider it one of my most valuable tapes in my collection. Once again it went double platinum in Canada and over 2 millions sold elsewhere. George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", Mark Knofler's "I Think I love You Too Much", "Full Circle" & the classic country-blues-rock number "How Long Can A Man Be Strong" were all released as singles and did well. He won the "Best Guitarist" award at the Toronto Music Awards, World Music Award for "Best Selling Canadian Artist" & "Best Group Video of the Year" at Much Music Canadian Music Video Awards. The next year Jeff won the Juno Award for "Canadian Entertainer of the Year" & World Music Award for "Best Selling Canadian Artist" and the band was nominated for Juno's "Group of the Year" and 'Hell to Pay' was nominated for "Best Album".|
1992 saw the release of Jeff's third album, 'Feel This', from which the videos for "Cruel Little Number" and the Tom Petty cover "Lost In Your Eyes" recieved massive rotation on Mtv and Much Music. Recorded at Forte Sound Studio in Toronto, the album was another platinum seller, with other standout cuts being "You're Coming Home","Leave the Light", "Baby's Looking Hot", & "Heart Of An Angel". The Jeff Healey Band also performed "Blown Away" for the BayWatch Nights tv series promotion. Another Juno nomination was recieved for "Group of the Year"in 1994.
|After a long break, he decided to put out an album to honour his influences. The 1995 album 'Cover to Cover' contained songs of artists such as The Beattles ("Yer Blues"), Jeff Beck ("Shapes of Things") & Cream ("Badge"). From it the song "Angel" reached #3 in Canada & "Shapes of Things" was nominated for a Grammy ("Best Rock Instrumental"). He also composed music for the 1996 film 'No Way Home'. 'The Very Best of Jeff Healey Band' was put out in August 1998. After that, Jeff moved from Arista/BMG to Atlantic records. While not in the studio or on stage, Jeff is a family man, happily married and a father of a girl. He is also an avid jazz music fan and plays trumpet with Toronto's local jazz acts and making an apperance in 1998 at the Toronto Jazz Festival. He also plays an old Gibson acoustic at Toronto's C'est What Jazz Club, when he performs with The Hot Five Jazzmakers.|
He also hosted his own national radio show on CBC called 'My Kinda Jazz', where he played jazz recordings by artists in the 1920's and 1930's. He also lends his name to the Candian National Institute for the Blind and has the Annual Jeff Healey Golf Classic Tournament. After a long 5 year break, during which Jeff has been pursuing his various interests, the band released the 2000 album 'Get Me Some'. Featuring tracks like the album opener "Which One", "Hey, Hey", "I Should Have Told You", "Love Is The Answer" & the Dianne Warren penned "I Tried", the album was launched at the Indian Motorcycle Club in Toronto, with a live performance by the band. They performed on New Year's eve at the Niagra Falls Park, a show which was braodcast throughout the US and Canada by both NBC and CNN.