Late night rock and pop music performances are featured.
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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Announcer / ... (12 episodes, 1972-1980)
...
 Herself - Host / ... (9 episodes, 1973-1976)
...
 Herself / ... (9 episodes, 1976-1981)
...
 Herself / ... (8 episodes, 1973-1979)
KC & The Sunshine Band ...
 Themselves / ... (7 episodes, 1977-1979)
...
 Himself / ... (7 episodes, 1978-1980)
Ike Turner ...
 Himself / ... (6 episodes, 1973-1975)
Herb Fame ...
 Himself / ... (6 episodes, 1979-1980)
...
 Himself / ... (5 episodes, 1973-1981)
Todd Rundgren ...
 Himself / ... (5 episodes, 1973-1978)
Lou Rawls ...
 Himself - Host / ... (5 episodes, 1973-1977)
...
 Herself / ... (5 episodes, 1974-1980)
George Benson ...
 Himself / ... (5 episodes, 1977-1978)
Linda Ronstadt ...
 Herself (4 episodes, 1972-1975)
...
 Herself (4 episodes, 1973-1980)
...
 Himself / ... (4 episodes, 1973-1980)
The Spinners ...
 Themselves / ... (4 episodes, 1973-1980)
Leo Sayer ...
 Himself / ... (4 episodes, 1974-1980)
...
 Himself (4 episodes, 1974-1976)
...
 Herself / ... (5 episodes, 1975-1980)
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Storyline

"The Midnight Special" was a Friday night Pop Rock variety show on NBC TV that ran in the same weekly time slot of 12:30 AM to 2AM EST for 9 years (1972-1981). It was taped in front of a live studio audience at NBC Burbank Ca. Concert footage was included at times. During the show's run there were some reruns on Saturday nights and 3 hr. compilation specials. Wolfman Jack appeared each week as announcer and main host, with a different guest host each week. Pop Rock and comedy performers appeared on the show. In changing times, the show's time slot was later filled by "Friday Night Videos"(1983), with the sudden popularity of the music video. Written by efffee@aol.com

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Music

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Release Date:

19 August 1972 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Denver hosted the Pilot (Episode 1) of the show with guests including: Mama Cass, The Everly Brothers, The Isley Brothers, Harry Chapin, Linda Ronstadt and Argent. Helen Reddy was also a musical guest on the show, but did not host this first episode. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moondog Airwaves (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

From a kid's memory... a wonderful program...
7 August 2005 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

The Midnight Special was more than routines from what turned out to be the best comics of the 20th Century..but a gateway into the pop/rock and R&B of the music of that time. The tours, the musicians/groups/bands/singers - somewhat live and to me as a child..one of the most exciting things I stayed up for.

The Midnight Special was pop culture of that time and I must say what did the Midnight Special in - the onset of MTV and the weening of the MTV generation.

This was it. The place to have seen all of the pop culture icons and the musicians/groups/singers/bands, etc. of the time. Late night, very much fun for me - as I was a big consumer and fan - and having something to talk about in elementary school that next week.

I loved Wolfman Jack - for at that time "Happy Days" and the film "American Graffiti" were in -- and as a child I felt just like George Lucas as he was placing the songs in "America Graffiti" - the Midnight Special is my generations "American Graffiti".

And then there was Ms. Helen Reddy as a host - also popular for her time and the women's movement and she had a lot of women in music to spotlight during her time. these were exciting times for music and comedians.

The Midnight Special is what the "Beyonce's" and the "Jessica Simposons" and the "Britney Spears" et al. cookie cutter marketing machines should study -- and study wisely. None of them can light a match to ANY of the performances here for many were performances and not just marketing and corporate money making tools.

This is NOT to put down any of the aforementioned entertainers -- but with shows such as the Midnight Special, you come to understand the difference between "entertainers" and "performers" with out the fast cuts, tricky camera work, editing and $1,000,000 worth of "bling-bling" marketing props to cover up many of these folks who really can't hold a tune. (If you can tear yourself away from the film and really...listen...)

Don't get me wrong - there were the pyrotechnics for some, screens for others and oh, those outfits for many bands as you go through the years!...But way before the "greed is good" mentality took over music, film, comedians, et al.

20th Century Pop Culture at its best. At least that is from the memory of this child who watched. I hope they do begin to DVD several of these shows, they are gems...and history.


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