WATCH: The Cars “Just What I Needed” on The Midnight Special 1978


Another great performance on the late late 70’s and early 80’s show “The Midnight Special, this time from The Cars!  “Just What I Needed” was released as their debut single from their self-titled debut album, The Cars, released in 1978 on Elektra Records. The song started as a demo, and became a successful single for The Cars, hitting the The Top 30 on the Billboard Charts, and continues to be…


WATCH: Linda Ronstadt nails “Long, Long Time” LIVE on The Midnight Special PILOT in 1972


I watched a number of videos of Linda Ronstadt performing live back in the day before finding this one, and the one thing I can tell you is she nails it EVERY time. Each one made me stop, listen, and be stunned again by her enormous talent.  Unlike a lot of today’s female performers, Ronstadt’s voice is as clear and strong live as it is recorded. Many times it would…


WATCH: Shirtless Ted Nugent rocks “Cat Scratch Fever” LIVE on The Midnight Special (1978)


I remember this appearance by “The Motor City Madman” on The Midnight Special back on September 6, 1978.  He played both “Stranglehold” and “Cat Scratch Fever” that night, but the latter really brought the house down as I recall. “Cat Scratch Fever” was originally released on May 13, 1977 from Nugent’s thrid studio  album and is well known for its signature guitar riff, which is a “3-tone minor-key melody harmonized…


WATCH: ‘Come and Get Your Love’ by Redbone on The Midnight Special LIVE – 1974


How many rock ‘n’ roll songs performed LIVE on national television start with a minute-long traditional Native American dance?  Probably not very many, which is why this 1974 video of the band Redbone performing their 1974 smash ‘Come and Get Your Love’ on The Midnight Special is so cool. Many fans didn’t know that the band was actually made up entirely of Native Americans, but Redbone clearly wanted to put…


‘Blinded by the Light’ Was Originally Written & Performed by … Bruce Springsteen?


A little piece of rock history that we just recently learned about: the classic ‘Blinded by the Light’, which shot to #1 on the Billboard charts in 1977, was originally written by none other than “The Boss” himself, Bruce Springsteen! It first appeared on his 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., but was later famously covered by British rock band Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The cover version changed…


WATCH: David Essex performs ‘Rock On’ for The Midnight Special – 1974


“Rock On”  was written by English singer David Essex and originally recorded in 1973, and was the title track to Essex’s 1973 debut studio album and was also featured on the soundtrack album to the 1973 film That’ll Be the Day, in which Essex had a starring role.  The song was released in August 1973 in the UK and reached its highest position at #3 in the UK Singles Chart in September that year,…


WATCH – Guess Who rocks “American Woman” – 1970 on The Midnight Special


The song that was born from a broken guitar string! On this day back in 1970 (5/9) the Guess Who start a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘American Woman.’  The song was the group’s sixth Top 30 hit but their only chart topper.  According to rock and roll legend, the song was born by accident when guitarist Randy Bachman was playing a heavy riff on stage…


WATCH: Cheap Trick’s incredible performance of ‘Surrender’ LIVE on The Midnight Special in 1979


Who remembers Burt Sugarman’s “The Midnight Special” which ran Friday nights on NBC after The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from 1973 to 1981?   It was the other half of the perfect NBC weekend late night combo along with Saturday Night Live, wasn’t it? Wolfman Jack hosted it and it seems like every great band from that era was on it.   Early in 1979, the show featured Cheap Trick,…