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In Children's Literacy, K-12 Education, Music Education, Popular Culture on March 5, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Wrrriifff out loud, and welcome to something new I’m gonna be featuring here every Saturday on ThatOne | EBD–  Songs On Saturday!

Songs On Saturday or SOS will feature me talkin’ about some of my favorite songs or my not so favorite songs. I’m also gonna be talkin’ about music, musicians, instruments, and all things havin’ to do with music! What do you think about That?

When She was a real young girl going to grammar school on Long Island, She used to play the violin. She came to love the instrument from watchin’, of all things, Bugs Bunny cartoons on black-and-white TV. As a former certified public school teacher, who taught  middle school Language Arts, She was a champion fur music and art education in the public schools as well.

It’s a shame many school bureaucrats earning salaries paid with taxpayer dollars from tax payers who send their children to school each day, have decided these very children would be better served without music or art or foreign language teaching and learning in their schools. Meanwhile, ironically enough, these bureaucrats’ own children go to private schools where music, art and foreign language education are an integral component of the curriculum.

I admire kids who play instruments, read music, appreciate and participate in creating things with their hands and imaginations and who are curious about nations, and People and languages and cultures different from their own. It is that spirit of intellectual curiosity behind Songs On Saturday.

This week, fresh off my I40E road trip through Tennessee– The Blues Brothers!

The Blues Brothers were the #41 inductees to receive a brass note on the famous Beale Street Walk of Fame in Memphis, Tennessee. Why? Who are The Blues Brothers? All this time I thought they were just a comedy invention of Saturday Night Live alumni Dan Aykroyd and his friend, the late John Belushi. I  was curious, so I did a little diggin.’

Way back in 1978, the duo teamed up to create a Saturday Night Live skit performing blues tunes. An avid blues fan, Dan Aykroyd hosted a nationally syndicated radio show “House of Blues” as the silent Elwood Blues, brother of Jake played with the flamboyant, bellicose acrobatics of John Belushi.

The SNL sketch was funny and  a rousing success. Not only was much of the music from Memphis, the band they assembled for the subsequent 1980 film directed by John Landis, had direct roots to Memphis featuring Stax (#57) greats Steve Cropper (#69) on guitar and Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass. The Blues Brothers movie, two albums (The Blues Brothers and Briefcase Full Of Blues), and a subsequent sequel sparked renewed interest in blues and the Memphis music scene.

Ok, so here’s The Blues Brother’s backstory– Elwood and Joliet Jake spent the early part of their lives in a Catholic orphanage before being adopted by black parents in Calumet City, Illinois. They’d been playing Chicago area clubs since the age of eight. Elwood had spent time in the industrial diamond trade and washed windows; Jake had done time for armed robbery at Joliet Prison—hence the nickname Joliet Jake.

The movie soundtrack album produced the hit for the duo, the cover of The Spenser-Davis Group‘s, “Gimme Some Lovin’ and Briefcase Full of Blues produced a cover of  “Soul Man” by R&B/Blues greats Sam and Dave (#50).”Rubber Biscuit” and  “Almost” were also modest hits while Made in America included their cover of “Who’s Making Love” by soul singer Johnnie Taylor.

Because The Blues Brothers were so instrumental in reviving interest in R&B, soul and blues, and  in introducing the music to a whole new generation and audience, they were honored with a brass note on the Walk of Fame on Beale Street.

And now you know and I know.

Good will Energies I direct
Toward each and every one of you
Each and every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That’s life today!

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