One of the privileges of being who I am at this moment is the ability to burst into tears while watching a video at the computer. 

I clicked on the video below, of trumpeter / singer Jeff Healey and friends swinging through I’M GOING TO SIT RIGHT DOWN AND WRITE MYSELF A LETTER and found myself crying.

I felt grief that Jeff is no longer alive and joy at the music he created and creates.  No one who can create such beauty is dead, I think, although I mourn his departure from the scene.

Here’s the music; all the details are explained at the end:


  1. Mark D. White

    I had no idea he played trumpet too (only having been familiar with his singing and guitar playing with his eponymous band) – thank you!

  2. Healey was a rough-hewn trumpet player, but he got deep into the heart of the music — and he was one of the great scholars of Twenties and Thirties music (pop as well as jazz) — so his style on this cut is a natural outgrowth of hours of intense listening. There are other clips on YouTube that show him off in this context, as well as some lovely CDs. Glad to have shown something new to a fellow Prof! Cheers, Michael

  3. Jeff Healey was the first “young” living musician I ever discovered who played in the style I love so much. When he passed away it was the first time I actively felt the loss of a great artist. I was grateful to discover his posthumous album “Last Call” but realizing that nothing else would ever be produced was extremely saddening.
    I remember it took me a while to appreciate the way Healey played. At first, I only heard the imprecise notes and I failed to appreciate the feeling of it — But then I felt the emotion in his playing and that totally makes up for some lack of technical skill. And actually his trumpet playing greatly improved in “Last Call” (his guitar playing has always been impeccable). I believe he is one of my biggest influences as a singer. The honesty in his voice is wonderful.

    It’s reassuring to know that others appreciate what he gave to us. Thank you Michael for linking this video, and I guess now’s a good time as well to thank you for your previous Healey post, where he performed “Blue River” and “I never knew”, two tunes I was previously unaware of and that I now cherish.


  4. My sentiments are the same as yours, NM. It always hurts to know that someone with this much talent is not going to be making more great music like the one you just posted. I know his music is going to keep him alive and in our hearts…I, for one, will spend a lot of time listening and enjoying Jeff Healey. I’m sure there will many, many others doing the same.

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