Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Midnight Special - 1973

Remember Burt Sugarman's "Midnight Special" from the 1970's? Along with Don Kirschner's "Rock Concert", these iconic shows, both of which were the precursors of MTV, were viewed by millions during the years in which they aired. At the time of this video, I was living in Ohio, working in a factory. These shows were a staple of life for thousands of factory workers like me on Friday nights. Of course there was a little bit of hooch involved in watching the concerts, but with, or without it, these shows aired some pretty good music.

I wasn't sure of what I wanted to post today, so I turned to my old friend You Tube and typed in the word "specials", figuring that I would come up with some old footage from the variety shows which used to play on TV. But the first thing that came up was this hit by a group whose name I never forgot- simply because I never knew it in the first place. The record was one of my favorites at the time, and it really hasn't become "dated" over the years. The song is a cover version of "Brother Louie", originally recorded by Hot Chocolate, before being covered by this band named Stories.

Stories was primarily a "rock and pop" group, from New York during the early 1970s. It's members were keyboardist Michael Brown, bassist/vocalist Ian Lloyd, guitarist Steve Love, and drummer Bryan Madey. "Brother Louie" would be their only hit record, reaching #1 in 1973. Ian Lloyd would quietly go on to influence such bands as Foreigner, Peter Frampton, and Foghat. Also of note is that Michael Brown was a founding member of a group called the Left Banke, and wrote their 1965 hit single, "Walk Away Renee."

The introduction by Jose Feliciano is a great indication of the variety we were all exposed to in the days before satellite radio and all the other new technology which allows the viewer/listener to remain fixed on one particular genre, rather than being exposed to many different types of sounds. Although I have my own preferences in music, as most of us do, I really miss those days. But then again, I still listen to AM radio on occasion.

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