The original late night rock n roll show on Friday nights . . . a weekly ninety-minute live concert series that followed The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.
It premiered as a special on August 19, 1972, returning as a regular series on February 2, 1973 running through May 1, 1981 . . . guest hosted by a variety of celebrities, but most notably, Wolfman Jack who also served as announcer and did occasional guest interviews.
The Midnight Special was created and produced by Burt Sugarman and aired on NBC, replacing the "test pattern" that typically ran on our television screens after The Tonight Show.
Back in the days of network television with no idea of what cable television had to offer with MTV and VH1, The Midnight Special brought music lovers in touch with the musicians who made those songs we listened to on the radio . . . giving a face to the sound. Other than a handful of television shows that only showcased the very popular singers and groups lipsynching to our favorite pre-recorded songs, The Midnight Special was the first of its kind of television show, featuring those musicians in a concert-like setting.
The Midnight Special made way for television shows such as Friday Night Videos, which ushered in the video music generation on network television made popular by the MTV cable television channel which took music lovers to a different level never seen before . . .
I miss those days of early MTV and The Midnight Special. It was an exciting era of an new generation that changed the way music lovers enjoyed their music and those awesome musicians who made the music.
Not only did they feature the most popular musicians of the time, but also comedians, like one of my favorites, Freddie Prinze . . . I sure do miss him!