The Louisiana Gator Boys Members are: Jeff Baxter (guitar), Gary
U.S. Bonds (vocals), Eric Clapton (guitar), Clarence Clemons (sax), Jacques
de Johnette (drums), Bo Diddley (guitar), Jon Faddis (trumpet), Isaac Hayes
(vocals), Dr. John (piano), B.B. King (guitar), Tommy McDonnell (vocals),
Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica), Billy Preston (organ), Lou Rawls (vocals),
Joshua Redman (sax), Koko Taylor (vocals), Travis Tritt (guitar), Jimmie
Vaughan (guitar), Willie Weeks (bass), Steve Winwood (Hammond organ) and
Grover Washington Jr. (sax).
The undisputed "Queen of Soul," ARETHA FRANKLIN (Mrs. Murphy)
is truly one of the living legends of the entertainment business. The first
female performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she has been
honored with countless other citations, awards and accolades throughout
her stellar career, including a Kennedy Center Honor, 15 Grammy Awards,
the Grammy Legend Award in 1991 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
Franklin was born in Memphis and moved at an early age to Detroit, where
her musical talents were nurtured in the church choirs of her father, the
Reverend C.L. Franklin. Since beginning her secular recording career in
the early 1960s, she has enjoyed a string of #1 R&B and pop hits, many
of which have become classics, including "Respect," "Chain
of Fools," "Think," "Since You've Been Gone," "Rock
Steady," "Angel," "Until You Come Back To Me,"
"You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)," "Day Dreaming,"
"Hold On I'm Comin'," "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved
You)," "Freeway of Love," "Who's Zoomin' Who,"
and "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves," among others. Franklin
currently records on the Arista Records label with a new CD release A Rose
Is Just A Rose, due March 16, 1998.
With a prolific career that has dominated the R&B and popular music
charts for over four decades, JAMES BROWN (Reverend Cleophus James)
is "The Godfather of Soul." A two-time Grammy Award winner and
charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Brown's hits include "I
Got You (I Feel Good)," "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" and
"Living in America."
Born into abject poverty in Barnwell, South Carolina, Brown's rise to fame
made him a spokesperson for black people and a symbol of hope for underprivileged
people everywhere. A singer whose style evolved but never strayed from its
roots in gospel and soul, Brown has achieved a wide international following
among fans of all races and cultures. Beginning with his release of "Please
Please Please" in 1956, almost every James Brown single has been a
hit - with over 80 R&B top 20 entries including more than 23 #1 hits
and more than 200 million records sold.
In 1992, Brown was honored by the American Music Awards as the recipient
of their Award of Merit and by the National Academy of Recording Arts and
Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Renowned throughout the world as the "King of the Blues," B.B.
KING (Malvern Gasperon) has, since he started recording in the late
1940s, released over 50 albums, many of them - such as the definitive live
blues album Live At The Regal and a collaboration with Bobby "Blue"
Bland, "Together For The First Time" - are considered blues classics.
He has had two #1 R&B hits: "Three O'Clock Blues" and "You
Don't Know Me," and four #2 R&B hits: "Please Love Me,"
"You Upset Me Baby," "Sweet Sixteen, Part I" and "Don't
Answer The Door, Part I." King's most popular crossover hit, "The
Thrill Is Gone" went to #15 on the pop charts and his classic songs
such as "Payin' The Cost To Be The Boss," "Caldonia,"
"How Blue Can You Get," "Everyday I Have The Blues"
and "Why I Sing The Blues" are concert (and fan) staples.
With one of the world's most readily identified guitar styles, King's model
of playing has influenced thousands of musicians including Eric Clapton,
George Harrison and Jeff Beck. Over the years, he has been honored by his
peers with seven Grammy Awards and in 1987 was awarded the Grammy Lifetime
Achievement Award. An inductee into both the Blues Foundation and Rock and
Roll Halls of Fame, King's innumerable other awards and citations include
the Songwriter's Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award and the Orville
H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gibson Guitar Company. In
1990, King received the prestigious Presidential Medal of the Arts and the
following year received the National Heritage Fellowship from the National
Endowment of the Arts. In 1995, King received the Kennedy Center Honors.
ERYKAH BADU's (Queen Mousette) voice is capable of stirring the deepest
emotions. Setting small fires, if you will. Her innovative, ancestral-inspired
debut album Baduizm hit Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart at #2, while maintaining
the #1 position on the R&B chart four weeks in a row. Incredibly, the
album went platinum in less than one month of its release. With the exception
of "4 Leaf Clover," all songs on Baduizm are original compositions
penned by Badu.
Additionally, the intoxicating #1 hit single, "On & On" -
the first single release from Baduizm - reached gold status. In addition
to writing the treatment, she co-directed "On & On" with video
director Paul Hunter and, along with Troy Montgomery-Smith, directed her
latest video, "Next Lifetime" which features cameos by Pete Rock,
The We Tang's Method Man, Dre from Outkast and Nefertiti.
Kedar Massenburg, President of Kedar Entertainment and D'Angelo's former
manager, first heard Badu when she opened for D'Alngelo in her hometown
of Dallas. Her unique voice, liquid eyes and lithe movements so impressed
Massenburg that she became the first artist signed to his newly-formed label
Kedar Entertainment (a joint venture with Universal Records).
PAUL SHAFFER (Marco/Music) has been David Letterman's musical director
and sidekick for the past sixteen years.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree on sociology
and philosophy, he landed the musical director's job with the Toronto production
of Godspell, a move which led him to Broadway and playing piano for The
In 1975, Shaffer was hired for the original band of Saturday Night Live
(SNL) and, through 1980, he played keyboards, was a featured performer and
composed most of SNL's musical material. It was during his tenure at SNL
that he met Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, serving as their musical director
and playing with The Blues Brothers for two albums and their national tour.
In addition to his own albums, Coast to Coast (1989), two cuts from which
were nominated for Grammy's and 1993s The World's Most Dangerous Party,
he has recorded with such diverse artists as Diana Ross, Yoko Ono and Robert
Plant's Honeydrippers. He composed the Late Show theme and, with Paul Jabara,
wrote the Weather Girl's top-40 disco dance hit "It's Raining Men."
Shaffer's movie credits include Gilda Live (the movie version of Gilda Radner's
Broadway show in which he appeared and collaborated on songs), This Is Spinal
Tap, Scrooged, Look Who's Talking Too and was most recently heard as the
voice of "Hermes" in the animated Disney feature Hercules.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics, he was musical director of the concert finale
at the closing ceremonies and, in 1997, he was seen as part of The Blues
Brothers Bash which comprised the Super Bowl XXXI half-time show. Additionally,
as he has done since its inception 12 years ago, Shaffer will once again
serve as musical director for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Actress and recording artist NIA PEEPLES (Lt. Elizondo) makes her
"major" motion picture debut in Blues Brothers 2000. Her indie
film credits include the surf cult classic North Shore and the critically
acclaimed romantic comedy, I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore.
Best known to audiences for her roles as Nicole on the Emmy Award-winning
series Fame and as the illegitimate daughter of Robert Duvall in the miniseries
Return To Lonesome Dove, Peeples has also appeared in a host of other network
series including Courthouse, Crisis Center, Top of the Pops and MOW's such
as Robin Cook's Terminal, Deadlocked and most recently, Tower of Terror,
opposite Steve Guttenberg.
Peeples has had two Billboard Top 10 pop hits and a #1 dance hit and has
also had her music featured in various films and TV shows including License
To Kill, The Cutting Edge, Melrose Place and One Life To Live.
Peeples resides in Los Angeles and Vancouver where she spends her off-time
writing both music and screenplays, studying at Playhouse West, or riding
the zip-line in her backyard with her son, Christopher.
With a career spanning almost 45 years, STEVE LAWRENCE (Maury Sline)
reprises his role from The Blues Brothers. Married to his performing partner,
Eydie Gorme, for 39 years, the two have won Emmy and Grammy Awards and recently
celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Lawrence is the recipient of
a New York Drama Critics Award for his Broadway debut in What Makes Sammy
Run. His numerous film and television appearances include the motion picture
The Lonely Guy with Steve Martin and he has the distinction of being the
2nd most frequent guest star on the hugely popular television show, The
Carol Burnett Show.
Legendary soul singer WILSON PICKETT's (Mr. Pickett) slew of top-charted
hits includes such songs as "In The Midnight Hour," "Ninety-Nine
and a Half (Won't Do)," "Land of 1,000 Dances," "Mustang
Sally," "Engine Number 9," "Don't Let the Green Grass
Fool You," and "Funky Broadway."
Born in Prattville, Alabama, Pickett moved with his family to Detroit where
he was weaned on gospel music before joining the Falcons vocal group (the
soul hit "She's So Fine") in 1960. His solo career was launched
later with "My Heart Belongs To You" on the Correc-Tone label.
Brief tenures on other small labels followed including a hit with "If
You Need Me" on the Double-L label, before Pickett went on to the Atlantic
label and released "Midnight Hour." Pickett was recently inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is known throughout the world as
the elusive icon in the hit film The Commitments.
One of the freshest new voices to sing the blues, 16-year-old JONNY LANG
(Ed's Love Exchange Janitor) recently released his major label debut "Lie
To Me" to immense critical and audience acclaim. A native of Fargo,
North Dakota, Lang's interest in the blues took off when he attended his
first real concert and saw the Bad Medicine Blues Band perform. Inspired
by the band's lead guitarist, Ted Larson, he began taking lessons from him
and before long was the frontman for the band. The band was renamed Kid
Jonny Lang & The Big Bang and their independently released album, Smokin',
became a regional smash. Lang has toured as the opening act for B.B. King,
Aerosmith, Blues Traveler and The Rolling Stones and has been invited up
on stage to jam with such artists as Luther Allison, Lonnie Brooks, Kenny
Neal, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Syl Johnson and Buddy Guy.
One of Stax's most distinctive singers and songwriters, EDDIE FLOYD
(Ed) originated such hits as "Knock On Wood," "Big Bird,"
and "Never Found A Girl," and co-wrote the classics "634-5789"
(with Steve Cropper) and "Ninety Nine and a Half (Won't Do) (with Cropper
and Pickett), made into hits by Wilson Pickett. He also wrote hits for:
Rufus Thomas' "Do the Breakdown," Otis Redding's "Don't Mess
With Cupid" and Bruce Springsteen's "Raise Your Hand." Floyd
often performs on tour as a special guest vocalist with The Blues Brothers
Grammy Award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer SAM MOORE (Reverend
Morris) is best known as the dominate lead voice of the legendary soul duo
Sam & Dave, whose rapid-fire style sent several songs, including "Hold
On, I'm Coming," "I Thank You," "When Something is Wrong
With My Baby," "Soul Sister Brown Sugar," "Wrap It Up"
and "Soul Man," climbing up both the pop and R&B charts.
More recently, artists from all genres of music, including Phil Collins,
Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen, David Sanborn, Travis Tritt, Annie Lennox,
Pink Floyd and Tom Jones have all gotten the opportunity to perform or record
with Moore. In 1993, a collaboration with Conway Twitty, "Rainy Night
In Georgia," rode high on both the country and pop charts and earned
numerous award nominations. Moore, dubbed "Super Voice" by Dan
Aykroyd, occasionally joins The Blues Brothers on stage and at special events.
TAJ MAHAL (Driver) has recorded 36 albums - six of them Grammy-nominated
- over the course of his storied career. A self-taught musician who plays
over 20 instruments including the National Steel and Dobro guitars, his
music has been described as "a well-seasoned gumbo, spiced with influences
that originate in the Caribbean, West Africa, the southern states and the
inner-cities of America."
Born in Harlem, Taj Mahal grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. During
1961-63, he had an R&B band called Taj Mahal and the Elektras and performed
in Boston coffeehouses and college mixers. After earning his degree in animal
husbandry from the University of Massachusetts in 1964, he emerged professionally
the following year as co-founder of The Rising Sons with Ry Cooder. This
led to a recording contract for Taj, who quickly rose to prominence with
his first solo albums, "Taj Mahal" (1968), "The Natch'l Blues"
(1968) and "Giant Steps" (1969). Over the years, he has toured,
recorded and/or performed with such artists as Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt,
B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Sheryl
Crow, Bob Marley, the Neville Brothers and the Rolling Stones.
BLUES TRAVELER (John Popper, Brendan Hill, Chan Kinchla and Bob Sheehan)
burst onto the scene in 1989 with their self-titled debut album for A&M.
Since then, the band has toured tirelessly and built a solid following on
the road. Initially, without much support from the radio community or other
conventional record selling vehicles, Blues Traveler emerged as a word of
mouth phenomenon due to the simple fact that fans connected to the band's
mood and music. In fact, touring has become somewhat essential to the success
and cult of Blues Traveler, who average over 250 live shows per year. By
1992, the word was out and lead singer John Popper started the H.O.R.D.E.
Festival. By 1996, the tour had become the 4th largest grossing tour in
America and Blues Traveler went on to sell over six million copies of their
fourth album. The band is currently one of North America's more popular
touring acts and has breathed a fresh air of boogie and groove into modern
blues. They recently released their sixth album for A&M, Straight On
Till Morning, which has been certified gold by the RIAA and is quickly approaching
JUNIOR WELLS (as himself) is considered to be one of the finest harp
players in the history of the blues. His 1966 debut album Hoodoo Man Blues
is ranked by collectors as one of the finest blues records ever. That same
year, Junior teamed up with Buddy Guy and began touring the world, becoming
well known as the most famous team in blues. During this period, they opened
for acts such as The Rolling Stones and headlined the Montreaux Jazz Festival,
opening-up new audiences to the blues.
Wells is an intense singer, blues harp genius and a consummate showman.
He has influenced every harp player to follow him. With his ever present
hat and slick style of dress, he is truly one of the reigning legends of
Guitarist/vocalist LONNIE BROOKS (as himself) has, since his early
days backing zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier, become one of the foremost
bluesman in North America. He has toured with such artists as Sam Cooke,
Jimmy Reed, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells and Eric Johnson,
as well as with his own band. He has recorded a number of albums for Alligator
Records, including the 1980 Montreux Jazz Festival Grand Prix du Disque
Award winner, Bayou Lightning.