Eddie Heywood was a jazz pianist who became very popular in the 1940s. His father, Eddie Heyward, Sr. was also a jazz musician from the 1920s. Heywood, Jr. played with several popular jazz musicians such as Wayman Carver in 1932, Clarence Love from 1934 to 1937 and Benny Carter from 1939 to 1940 after moving to New York.
After starting his band, Heywood would occasionally do back-up for Billie Holiday in 1941. In 1943, Heywood took several classic solos on a Coleman Hawkins quartet date and put together the first sextet, including Doc Cheatham and Vic Dickenson. After their version of “Begin the Beguine” became a hit in 1944, they had three successful years ahead of them.
Between 1947 to 1950, Heywood was stricken with a partial paralysis of his hands and could not play at all. However, it did not stop him when he made a later in the decade. In the 1950s, Heywood composed and recorded “Land of Dreams” and “Soft Summer Breeze” and is probably best known for his 1956 recording of his composition “Canadian Sunset,” all of which he recorded with Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra. After a second partial paralysis in the 1960s, Heywood made another comeback and continued his career in the 1980s.