Today in Music History, June 16

1980, The Blues Brothers film starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd premiered in Chicago. The film also featured Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway and Ray Charles in the role of a streetwise storeowner.

This band fo rthe movie and later reviews was made up of a truly all-star cast

·         "Joliet" Jake E. Blues (John Belushi) – lead vocals

·         Elwood J. Blues (Dan Aykroyd) – harmonica, backing vocals

·         Steve "The Colonel" Cropper – lead and rhythm guitar (of Booker T & the M.G.'s)

·         Matt "Guitar" Murphy – lead and rhythm guitar (Howlin' Wolf, other artists)

·         Donald "Duck" Dunn – bass guitar (of Booker T & the M.G.'s)

·         Murphy "Murph" Dunne – keyboards (brought in for the film due to Paul Shaffer's commitment to perform with Gilda Radner in Gilda Live!, toured with the band in the summer of 1980)

·         Willie "Too Big" Hall – drums, percussion (formerly of the Bar-KaysIsaac Hayes' band)

·         Tom "Bones" Malone – trombone, trumpet, saxophone (Saturday Night Live Band and formerly Blood, Sweat & Tears)

·         "Blue" Lou Marini – saxophone (SNL Band and formerly Blood, Sweat &      Tears)

·         Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin – trumpet (SNL Band)

·         Steve "Getdwa" Jordan – drums, percussion (SNL Band) (does not appear in movie)

·         Birch "Crimson Slide" Johnson – trombone (does not appear in movie)

·         Paul "The Shiv" Shaffer – keyboards, arranger (does not appear in first movie, but appeared in the 1998 sequel, Blues Brothers 2000)

·         Tom "Triple Scale" Scott – saxophone (L.A. Express) (does not appear in movie)

The typical big-budget movie gets booked into about 1,400 theaters. The Blues Brothers gets about 600 bookings. This, coupled with frequently heckling reviews—“a ponderous comic monstrosity,” The Washington Post calls it—spells epic disaster.

The Blues Brothers, having exceeded its $17.5 million budget by $10 million, is needlessly long and clearly flawed. In New York, Belushi drives from theater to theater, gauging audiences. Aykroyd watches the movie in a theater in Times Square.
He detects laughter.

The Blues Brothers makes $115 million, becoming one of Universal’s most enduring hits and by far its greatest farce.


For a great inside looke at the making of this epic flick check: