Eddie Boyd November 25, 1914 – July 13, 1994
Eddie Boyd was born this day, November 25, 1914 on Stovall’s Plantation, in Clarksdale, Mississippi. In his early twenties, he moved to Memphis, working Beale Street with his band the Dixie Rhythm Boys. Eventually, he made his way North to Chicago, working on sessions for Lester Melrose, an A & R man for an array of labels. It wasn’t until 1947 that he was given the opportunity to record under his own name.
When his time with RCA / Victor came to pass, Boyd took self-financed a couple of demo sessions in 1951 / 52. J.O.B. records released two 78’s from the sessions, the second of which, ‘Five Long Years’ was a huge hit, quickly becoming a blues standard.
On the strength of this number, he signed a contract with Al Benson of Parrot Records, who in turn sold it to Chess Records.
Boyd scored two more hits early in his tenure with Chess in 1953, with ’24 Hours and ’‘Third Degree’ both of which also became standards.
After his contract with Chess expired in 1957, Boyd recorded for a number of labels but as the sixties progressed, he found his recording opportunities waning.
After touring Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival in 1965, and recording an LP with Mike Vernon, Boyd moved there, first to Belgium and eventually to Finland, where he continued to perform and record until his passing July 13, 1994.