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The Blues Brothers

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The Blues Brothers is the name of a blues band fronted, incognito, by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.

Belushi (as vocalist Jake Blues) and Aykroyd (as harpist Elwood Blues), both members of the original cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live television program, created The Blues Brothers and their alternate identities in early 1976 to warm up SNL audiences.

The Blues Brothers made their first appearance on air at SNL, with Belushi and Aykroyd, dressed in the bee costumes they normally wore for the "Killer bees" sketch, performing Slim Harpo[?]'s "I'm a King Bee". In the weeks following that performance, The Blues Brothers became a popular addition to the show and began to appear on a semi-regular basis. Part of the humour is the image of two men who are dressed in black suits looking like mob hitmen suddenly exploding into energetic song and dance.

Backing Jake and Elwood were top session men like guitarist Steve Cropper[?], bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn[?], and Matt "Guitar" Murphy[?].

The Blues Brothers recorded their first album, Briefcase Full of Blues, in 1978 while opening for comedian Steve Martin in Los Angeles. The album went platinum, and featured Top 40 hit covers of "Soul Man" and "Rubber Biscuit."

In 1980, The Blues Brothers motion picture was released, featuring cameos by Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker and others. Carrie Fisher[?], Frank Oz (Yoda, Miss Piggy, etc), director Steven Spielberg, and comedians[?] John Candy and Paul Reubens also had roles. The Blues Brothers also toured that year to promote the movie. Jake and Elwood also released their second LP, Made in America, which included the Top 40 hits "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "Who's Making Love".

In 1981, The Best of the Blues Brothers was released.

On March 5, 1982, Belushi died in Hollywood of an accidental drug overdose.

In 1988 Cropper, Dunn, Murphy and others re-formed The Blues Brothers Band for a world tour. They released an album of new material in 1992 entitled Red White and Blues, which included a guest appearance from Elwood Blues.

Aykroyd started his House of Blues[?] franchise, an international chain of blues clubs. As Elwood, he hosts the syndicated "House of Blues Radio Hour."

In 1998, Blues Brothers 2000, was released to theaters but failed to live up to the success of the first film.



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