An extremely talented pianist, Eddie Heywood’s arrangement of Cole Porter's ''Begin the Beguine'' made his sextet one of the most popular jazz groups of the 1940’s. He also wrote the standard “Canadian Sunset,” in the 1950’s to add to his impressive resume.
Heywood received his first piano lessons from his father, also named Eddie, who was a well-known band leader in the 20s. Heywood joined his father, playing piano in the pit band at an Atlanta theatre. He also accompanied singers, including Bessie Smith, and thereafter worked in various small jazz groups, including those led by Wayman Carver, Benny Carter and Don Redman.
His gift for accompanying singers was displayed by his recordings with Billie Holiday and Alberta Hunter