The Blues Brothers: A Musical Legacy

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Blues Brothers are one of the most iconic and influential musical groups of all time. Over the course of their career, they’ve released some of the most memorable and timeless music ever recorded. In this blog, we celebrate the legacy of the Blues Brothers and their incredible contribution to music.

The Blues Brothers: who they are and what they do

The Blues Brothers are a musical group formed in 1978 by actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as part of a Saturday Night Live sketch. The group has been credited with reviving interest in blues music and helping to make it more mainstream. They have released several albums, including the Grammy-nominated Briefcase Full of Blues, and have toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. In 1980, they starred in The Blues Brothers, a film about their quest to reunite their old band and save an orphanage from closure. The movie was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $100 million at the box office. The Blues Brothers have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they continue to tour with new members Jake and Elwood Blues.

The history of the Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers is an American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live. Belushi and Aykroyd, respectively in character as lead vocalist “Joliet” Jake Blues and harmonica player/backing vocalist Elwood Blues, fronted the band which was composed of well-known and respected musicians. The Blues Brothers first appeared on Saturday Night Live on January 17, 1976.

Initially, The Blues Brothers were designed as a one-time joke on Saturday Night Live;[1] however, they became one of the most popular musical acts of the late 1970s.[2] Over the next several years they released several successful albums and toured extensively around the world.

Their popularity resulted in their own 1980 film The Blues Brothers, which featured cameo appearances by numerous musicians including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Cab Calloway. The film was directed by John Landis and featured the brothers attempting to save an old Catholic orphanage from foreclosure by raising money through a benefit concert.

Although Blue Brothers recordings were always released under the band name, Aykroyd and Belushi never legally formed a group called The Blues Brothers; instead they founded a production company called House of Blues to release their music. After Belushi’s death in 1982, Aykroyd continued to touring versions of The Blues Brothers with various guest vocalists until his retirement from performing in 1988. In 1998 he briefly revived the band with Jim Belushi (John’s brother) taking over his brother’s role.

The music of the Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers were an American musical group founded in 1978 by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. The band achieved commercial success in the 1980s with their mix of blues, soul, and R&B music.

The Blues Brothers began as a sketch on the comedy television show Saturday Night Live. The sketch was so popular that it led to the release of an album, Briefcase Full of Blues, in 1978. The album was a commercial success, reaching number three on the Billboard 200 chart.

The Blues Brothers released several more albums throughout the 1980s, including Made in America (1980), and had a hit single with their cover of the song “Soul Man”. The group also starred in two feature films, The Blues Brothers (1980) and Blues Brothers 2000 (1998).

The band’s popularity has continued long after Belushi’s death in 1982. In 1992, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and their music continues to be popular today.

While The Blues Brothers may have started out as a Saturday Night Live sketch, the characters of Jake and Elwood Blues quickly took on a life of their own. The Blues Brothers became icons of American popular culture, and their influence can still be felt today.

The Blues Brothers first gained widespread popularity with their 1978 album Briefcase Full of Blues. The album featured covers of classic blues songs, as well as original material written by the duo. The album was a huge success, reaching number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

In 1980, The Blues Brothers released their first film, entitled The Blues Brothers. The movie featured the duo on a mission to save the Catholic orphanage where they were raised. Along the way, they encountered a host of colorful characters, including James Brown and Aretha Franklin. The movie was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $100 million at the box office.

The Blues Brothers continued to record and perform together until Elwood’s death in 1982. In 1998, John Belushi’s widow Judy Belushi Pisano revived the duo with Dan Aykroyd as Elwood. Aykroyd and Pisano remain the official leaders of the band to this day.

The Blues Brothers have left an indelible mark on American culture. Their music has been featured in countless movies and television shows, including The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Beetlejuice. In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine ranked them number 18 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

The legacy of the Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers are an iconic American musical duo that has left a lasting legacy on both the blues and rock genres. Comprised of brothers Jake and Elwood Blues, the pair gained notoriety in the late 1970s with their hilarious antics and soulful renditions of classic blues songs.

Though they only released two albums, The Blues Brothers have been credited with reviving interest in the blues genre and inspiring countless musicians. Their music has been covered by a wide range of artists, from country star Willie Nelson to hard rock band Deep Purple.

The Blues Brothers’ legacy continues to live on through their music, which is still beloved by fans around the world.

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