Forty years ago, the Blues Brothers movie launched a whole slew of fabulous performers into my life’s soundtrack: Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Elmore James, and the unmistakable growl of John Lee Hooker. Grateful for soul & the blues.
The movie still feels relevant, says star and co-writer Dan Aykroyd: “It’s anti-Nazi. It’s anti-racist. It venerates African American culture and recognizes African American performers and artists. And we were prescient about the militarization of police.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Belushi visited Dan Aykroyd’s “505 Club” – an afterhours speakeasy in Toronto run by Aykroyd, years ago. Belushi overheard the song “Straight Up” from Downchild Blues Band and said, “Wow, that’s cool music.”
“Well, John, you’re from Chicago, you know it’s blues music,” said Aykroyd.
“Well, I’m into heavy metal, Grand Funk and, you know, Cream,” said Belushi.
Aykroyd responded, “Well, you know it all comes from the blues.”
The two eventually performed as the Blues Brothers on Saturday Night Live and history was made.