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Jeff Healey - The Day the Music Died

Goodbye Jeff - The world is going to miss your "Angel Eyes"

 

Jeff Healey: 1966-2008

His unmistakable, signature style - a guitar on his lap and Hendrix theatrics - marked Jeff Healey as the most distinctive guitar player of our time. And even though Canada hasn't done a good job of recognizing his talent - he doesn't have a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame - the world is mourning Healey's passing today.

Jeff HealeyJeff HealeyFor many Healey fans, the news hasn't sunk in yet. Outside his roadhouse (Jeff Healey's Roadhouse in Toronto) many fans had still not learned of his death. There is no shrine and the doors are chained shut.

Healey was born in 1966 and lost his sight to a rare form of cancer at a year old. He started playing guitar before his was ten, and before his death yesterday performed with greats like George Harrison and Jimmy Rogers.

The world knows him best for his 1988 hit, Angel Eyes, which topped the charts in 1988 and was later followed by a cameo appearance in Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze. When his rock career began to wane, Healey turned to jazz and recorded 3 albums, including the most recent, "It's Tight Like That."

Healey hosted CBC Radio's long-running series, "My Kinda Jazz" before moving the program to Toronto's Jazz-FM station. His show consisted mainly of music from his 30,000+ collection of 78-rpm records he had painstakingly collected throughout his life.

And even though he was a family man who preferred to stick close to home, he had a tour planned this spring to promote his newest album, "Mess of Blues," scheduled for North American release on April 21.

Early last year, the cancer Healey had battled all his life returned with a vengeance and he underwent surgery to remove cancerous tissue from his legs - and later from both lungs. Aggressive treatments failed to slow the disease and Healey was pursuing alternative therapy treatments at the time of his death.

Funeral arrangements have not been confirmed yet, but we're pretty sure the world will be there to say goodbye. Maybe Canada will step up and finally put Healey's star where it belongs - on Canada's Walk of Fame.

Share your memories of Jeff Healey with us. Because for all of us - whether you're Canadian or a Healey fan - the music is a little quieter today.

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