Curtis Salgado grew up in Eugene, Oregon. By his early 20s, Salgado was already making a name for himself in Eugene’s bar scene with his band The Nighthawks, and later as co-leader of The Robert Cray Band.
In 1977, comedian/actor John Belushi was in Eugene filming Animal House. During downtime from production, Belushi caught a typically ferocious Salgado performance and introduced himself during a break. Once Salgado started sharing some of his blues knowledge, a fast friendship grew. Salgado spent hours playing old records for Belushi, teaching him about blues and R&B. Belushi soaked up the music like a sponge and used his new awareness to portray “Joliet” Jake Blues in The Blues Brothers, first as a skit on Saturday Night Live and then a best-selling record album (which was dedicated to Curtis) and finally as a major motion picture (Cab Calloway’s character was named Curtis as an homage). (Source: Curtis Salgado website).
Salgado and Cray parted ways in 1982.
Here’s some great links about Curtis Salgado and the Blues Brothers:
Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) Video: Curtis Salgado on Inspiring the Blues Brothers
Register Guard Story (photos & article): The Birth of The Blues (Brothers)