This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.
This column will feature the music that the Blues Brothers and their band, along with guest artists, played in the film. However, it's not music taken from the film soundtrack, it's the original versions of those songs.
For those who haven't seen the film, it's along the lines of "Let's get the band together and put on a show". Pretty much the same as those old Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland films of a generation earlier, although those featured fewer car crashes.
The music will be in the order (approximately) that they appeared in the film, so first up is the song She Caught the Katy. That one first came to my attention thanks to TAJ MAHAL, who wrote the song.
Taj isn't a straight blues musician who likes to incorporate Caribbean, African and other elements into his music. Here is his take on his song.
The theme for the TV series Peter Gunn was written by Henry Mancini who recorded it for the program. Later, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans put words to it but we're going with the instrumental version, as that was what they played in the film.
Their version leaned more towards DUANE EDDY than Henry, so I'm going with that.
Duane's was the biggest seller of all the versions released (and there have been quite a few). It was back when Duane could do no wrong – anything he released became a hit. He's probably the biggest selling instrumentalist in rock & roll history.
THE SPENCER DAVIS GROUP was blessed in having a fine vocalist and keyboard player in Steve Winwood.
The song Gimme Some Lovin' was written by Spencer, Steve and Steve's brother Muff (also a member of the group).
[UPDATE 2:15PM Pacific time: The first version of this song would not play. New one is uploaded.]
JOHN LEE HOOKER was shown in the film performing the song Boom Boom as a busker on the street.
John Lee wrote and recorded the song originally and I see no reason to go past that one.
In the film, the band needed some instruments, so they went along to Ray's Music Exchange to get them. Ray, of course, is RAY CHARLES.
Like John Lee, Ray was the originator of the song he sang, Shake Your Tailfeather, and this is the way he recorded it originally.
I don't remember this next song in the film but Wiki assures me that it's there so who am I to argue? I really must watch the film again soon. I know the song from the version by SOLOMON BURKE.
Solomon is always welcome in any column of mine and here he is with Everybody Needs Somebody to Love. It certainly sounds like something they'd perform.
For some reason, the crew happened to venture into church. As far as I can tell, there was no reason for this except to feature James Brown as the Reverend Cleophus James putting on quite a turn with the song The Old Landmark.
I prefer the STAPLE SINGERS to James, and they performed it earlier.
Mavis Staples sings lead on this one (as she did on most of their songs).
One of the band members was working in a diner run by his wife played by ARETHA FRANKLIN.
Aretha's character is none too happy about his going off like that and she tells him to Think about it. It makes no difference as he goes anyway, but we get a good song out of it.
Now we get to the "chicken wire" part of the film that always brings a smile to my face. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen the film.
Wondering what to play for this particular audience, they came up with the theme from Rawhide. The person who sang that in the TV series was FRANKIE LAINE.
We're still in "chicken wire" mode and if Norma, the Assistant Musicologist, knew I was including this next song she would disown me (or something even more drastic), so I'm not going to tell. Let's keep it our little secret from her.
Of course, she knows it was in the film, or maybe she's put it out of her mind. If not, she probably thinks I'll omit it. Silly sausage, she should know me better than that.
You can all probably guess what's next (that is if you've seen the film). Yes, it's TAMMY WYNETTE.
This is her best known song, Stand By Your Man.
We've finally got to stage the concert and the master of ceremonies was CAB CALLOWAY.
Cab also got to perform his best known song, Minnie the Moocher.
As the film was set in (and around) Chicago, Sweet Home Chicago was an obvious choice for them to perform. It was originally laid down on shellac by ROBERT JOHNSON.
In spite of his rather meagre recorded output, Robert is probably the most influential blues performer ever.
Thanks to all those cars that were destroyed, but that really was due to the incompetence of the other characters' driving, I don't know why our heroes were blamed for that (okay, yes I do), the whole band landed in the hoosegow.
They put on a final concert in prison and naturally performed Jailhouse Rock. This was originally done by ELVIS in the film of the same name.