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Music News

The Midnight Special celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023. To celebrate, the iconic show has launched an official YouTube channel featuring classic moments from its eight-year run.

The show was the brainchild of producer Burt Sugarman and ran from February 1973-May 1981. It was initially launched as a one-off special in August 1972 before becoming a series.

In a statement about the new YouTube channel, Sugarman said, “I’m thrilled that it will be available for all fans, as well as a new generation of viewers who may not be familiar with the show. Audiences can enjoy hours of classic performances and interviews from the biggest stars of that era.”

The Midnight Special was known for featuring some of the biggest names in music of the era. However, it also featured some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy. Plenty of videos are available for streaming upon the channel’s launch on March 6. According to a trailer for the YouTube channel, fans can expect weekly playlists, exclusive events, artist updates and more.

So, what clips from The Midnight Special are already available? Scroll below for seven classic performances.

  • Rod Stewart and Keith Richards - 'Twisting The Night Away'

    This performance is from the episode that aired on April 25, 1975. Stewart is backed by some of his Faces bandmates, including pianist Ian McLagan and guitarist Ronnie Wood. Coincidently, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is there, too. Wood would officially join the Stones in 1976 after touring with the band in 1975.

  • Ike and Tina Turner - 'River Deep Mountain High'

    This performance from Ike and Tina Turner aired on November 3, 1973. It is yet another example of the one-of-a-kind electricity Tina Turner brought on stage. Sure would like to see some of today’s pop stars try and deliver the same kind of magic while also singing live.

  • Steve Martin - March 2, 1973

    Steve Martin has been entertaining the masses for over 50 years, and even in this stand-up set, you can see why he’s so beloved. Who couldn’t love someone so goofy that can also play the banjo?!

  • Fleetwood Mac - 'Rhiannon'

    “This is a song about an old Welsh witch,” says Stevie Nicks before belting out this Fleetwood Mac classic. This performance aired on February 27, 1976, just less than a year before the release of Rumours.

  • David Bowie - 'Space Oddity'

    This Bowie performance of “Space Oddity” aired on November 16, 1973 while he was deep in his “Ziggy Stardust” era. It’s great to see Mick Ronson by his side harmonizing with him in this clip. A truly beautiful performance.

  • Bee Gees & Wilson Pickett - 'Hey Jude'

    Wilson Pickett’s cover of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” is one of the best covers ever. Adding the vocals of the Bee Gees take this performance to a whole other level. It’s a prime example of some of the special duets that would happen on The Midnight Special.

  • Linda Ronstadt - 'You're No Good'

    Linda Ronstadt had a way of covering a track and really making it her own. “You’re No Good” is one of the best examples of this, and this performance that aired on January 10, 1975 shows just how powerful her voice was live.

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