Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers were a rhythm and blues band fronted by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in character (with various additions following Belushi’s 1982 death). Belushi (as lead vocalist “Joliet” Jake Blues) and Aykroyd (as harpist/vocalist Elwood Blues) were both members of the original cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The Blues Brothers’ television debut was as the musical guest in the April 22, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live, often cited as one of the best-ever SNL episodes.

Although most famous for the movie of the same name, the Blues Brothers originally made regular appearances on Saturday Night Live in the mid to late nineteen-seventies. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd play Jake and Elwood Blues,

The origin of the Blues Brothers was a January 1976 SNL skit. In it, “Howard Shore and his All-Bee Band” play the Slim Harpo song “I’m a King Bee”, with Belushi singing and Aykroyd playing harmonica, dressed in the bee costumes they wore for the “Killer Bees” sketch.

The name of the  first Album of The Blues Brothers was “Briefcase Full of Blues” that was recorded in 1978.This Albuum proved to be a super hit and it went double platinum, and featured Top 40 hit covers of Sam and Dave’s “Soul Man” and The Chips’ “Rubber Biscuit”. Despite the name of the act, most of the songs performed by The Blues Brothers throughout their existence were soul music or R&B classics rather than actual blues music.

The Blues Brothers, along with the New Riders of the Purple Sage, opened for the Grateful Dead for the final show at Winterland, New Year’s Eve 1978.

The two “brothers” assembled a collection of studio talents to play under the name of  The Blues Brothers Band; the musicians in the band had previously played with Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Paul McCartney & Wings, Miles Davis, and Otis Redding.

The Style of the Blue Brother was fresh and in many ways, different from prevailing musical trends: A very raw and “live” sound compared to the increasing use of sound synthesis and vocal-dominated music of the late 1970s and 80s.

The Music of the Blues Brothers is considered  to be based on rhythm, blues, and soul, it also drew heavily on rock and jazz elements, usually taking a blues standard and bringing a rock sound and style to it. The band could be drawn into three sections: the four man horn section, the traditional rock instruments of the five-man rhythm section, and the two singing brothers. The sound of the band was an odd (but successful) synthesis of two different traditions: the horn players all came from the clean, precise, jazz-influenced sound of New York City; while the rhythm section came from the grittier soul and blues sound of Chicago and Memphis. The success of this meld was due both to Paul Shaffer’s arrangements and to the musicians’ talents.

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