Today in music, April 22, 1978, John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd appeared for the first time as the Blues Brothers on Saturday Night Live.
The Blues Brothers always rang my bell. They loved the same music I loved and played it with a passion that couldn’t be topped. I’ve watched the movie a hundred times and even now, when Aretha sings Think in the diner, I get up and dance.
In my tenure as musical director at Sweetwaters I played for many great singers such as Ruth Brown, Carrie Smith, Dakota Staton and my favorite gospel/blues singer of all time, Linda Hopkins!
I remember in a rehearsal Linda called out a song that I didn’t know. When I told her I never heard that song before she said, “Just listen, baby” and she came over and sang it in my ear. That’s when I learned how to follow a singer.
Later Linda and I toured France together. My son Casey was about 9 months old, so Claudia and I packed him up and went to Paris. We have pictures somewhere of Linda holding him at rehearsal.
It’s so interesting that although Casey was brought up in such a bluesy and R&B household he turned out to be this world class tenor/counter-tenor singing round the world with Chanticleer.
We are very proud, and while I’m bragging, let me mention that my younger son Dylan is this brilliant bassist with the sharpest ears and wit and an all round great musician. Goddamn I have cool sons!
I learned these two blues, How Blue Can You Get and Rock Me Baby playing for Linda twenty five years ago …