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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Saturday, April 30, 2011

As the Years Go Passing By


Born in Toronto, Ontario, Healey was raised in the city's west end. He was adopted as an infant; his adoptive father was a firefighter. When he was eight months old, Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. After being signed to Arista Records in 1988, the band released the album See the Light, featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes" and the song "Hideaway", which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. While the band was recording See the Light, they were also filming (and recording for the soundtrack of) the Patrick Swayze film Road House. Healey had numerous acting scenes in the movie with Swayze, as his band was the house cover band for the bar featured in the movie. In 1990, the band won the Juno Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. The albums Hell to Pay and Feel This gave Healey 10 charting singles in Canada between 1990 and 1994, including a cover of The Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps which featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.

On January 11, 2007, Healey underwent surgery to remove metastatic tissue from both lungs. In the previous eighteen months, he had two sarcomas removed from his legs.

On March 2, 2008, Healey died of cancer at St. Joseph's Health Centre in his home town of Toronto. His death came a month before the release of Mess of Blues, which was his first rock/blues album in eight years.

Healey is survived by his wife, Cristie, and two children. A tribute concert was held on May 3, 2008 to benefit Daisy's Eye Cancer Fund, which, according to Cristie Healey, had helped make major strides in research and future advances for people born with the same genetically inherited retinoblastoma which had plagued her husband since he was one year of age. Cristie and Jeff Healey's son was also born with the same disability.

In 2009, he was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.
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