It was 39 years ago this week (February 2nd, 1973) that the late night rock show The Midnight Special premiered on NBC. The show's pilot had aired in 1972, and went on to create a buzz the next year when it followed late night king Johnny Carson. The Midnight Special originally aired at 1 a.m. on Saturday mornings, but when Carson scaled The Tonight Show down from 90 minutes to an hour, the show moved up to 12:30 a.m.
Among the major guests who performed during the show's first season were John Denver, the Everly Brothers, Cass Elliott, Linda Ronstadt, Harry Chapin, Helen Reddy, the Isley Brothers, the Stylistics, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, Dionne Warwick, Al Green, the Bee Gees, Don McLean, Ike & Tina Turner, and many more.
The show went on to feature timeless performances by such heavyweights as Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Blondie, the Cars, Earth, Wind & Fire, Eddie Money, Electric Light Orchestra, Fleetwood Mac, Gordon Lightfoot, Heart, Helen Reddy, Jim Croce, KC & The Sunshine Band, LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Captain & Tennille, Peter Frampton, REO Speedwagon, Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, the Village People, and countless others.