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Died On This Date (March 5, 1982) John Belushi / The Blues Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on March 5, 2010

John Belushi
January 24, 1949 – March 5, 1982

john-belushiFor all intents and purposes, John Belushi had two successful, yet brief careers. Belushi skyrocketed to fame thanks to his amazing comedic abilities that were showcased nationally when he became a cast member during Saturday Night Live’s inaugural season of 1975.  During breaks from the show, Belushi acted in some of the era’s most popular comedies.  That list includes Animal House, Continental Divide, and of course, The Blues Brothers, which showcased his singing abilities as well.  The Blues Brothers were a singing duo made up of Belushi and SNL cast mate, Dan Aykroyd who were first introduced on the show, and then elevated to starring roles in the popular musical comedy of the same name.  Premiering in June of 1980, the film went on to gross $115 million and spawn Briefcase Full Of Blues, the double-platinum soundtrack.  A strong part of the duo’s appeal was that they were backed up by some of the greatest session musicians popular music has ever know, the Saturday Night Live house band.  Belushi’s singing (or at least his mimicking) talents were also featured in a legendary SNL segment when he “dueted” with Joe Cocker, performing as his popular parody of Cocker, himself.  During Belushi’s meteoric rise to the top, he also developed a reputation as a hard partier.  On March 5, 1982, he and several friends were hanging out at a West Hollywood hotel.  At one point, as was confessed at a later date, a female acquaintance injected Belushi with a fatal dose of cocaine and heroin.  John Belushi died as a result at the age of 33.  The woman eventually accepted a plea bargain to involuntary manslaughter and served 15 months in prison.

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Briefcase Full of Blues - The Blues Brothers

One Response to “Died On This Date (March 5, 1982) John Belushi / The Blues Brothers”

  1. Charles Basco said

    I want to extend my deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the Irby Mandrell family: I am just
    so sorry for your loss. Irby and I spent so many
    late morning hours visiting, talking, laughing and shareing stories about the music business, in his office at the Oceanside Music Supply store. I ran into Irby and Barbara on the road a couple times through the years, as I was close- by doing a show:….just the niceist, most precious people….so sorry Mary and girls!!!
    May the Lord give you comfort and peace.

    Sencerely, your friend,
    Charles Basco

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