The 80s: ‘Ghostbusters’

Cast of GhostbustersIt’s been almost thirty years since audiences gathered in theaters to see the feature film Ghostbusters.  The movie starred Saturday Night Live veterans Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, joined by Harold Ramis as a trio of misfit parapsychologists who, after an encounter with the ghost of a dead librarian, start Ghostbusters, a service that investigates and eradicates paranormal activity.  A fourth ghostbuster, played by actor Ernie Hudson, was hired on when the guys needed a little more help.   The movie was written by Ramis and Aykroyd in 1982.  Originally, Aykroyd had himself and Jim Belushi as the lead characters, fighting aliens in outer space, but the story was re-tooled after Belushi’s death that same year.  The film was released in the summer of 1984 and was a blockbuster smash, grossing $13.6 million opening weekend and $23 million the first week, which at the time was a record for Columbia Pictures.  It held the top spot at the box office for seven weeks until it was knocked down to the number two spot by Prince’s film, Purple Rain.   A week later, however, that reign was over and Ghostbusters was back in the number one spot and in the end, grossed a whopping $229 million and some change, making it the number two movie money maker of the year, second to Beverly Hills Cop.  It also received a couple of Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song. Of course, if you were living in a cave in 1984, you may have missed hearing the film’s catchy theme song of the same name written by Ray Parker Jr.  It spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  The music video for the tune featured cameos from Irene Cara, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk and Chevy Chase, and was a number one video on MTV.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, currently working on a Masters in Marketing degree. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release “Inertia” at, visit him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @MontroseC.  Check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.


  1. BKW says:

    What a colossal mistake (re: John/Jim Belushi)–both the writer AND Soul Train editors should be ashamed!

  2. DamonO says:

    Jim Belushi is alive and well. His brother John is the one that died.

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