The Bee Gees and Chuck Berry Performing “Reelin’ and Rockin'” Is What You Need

Share This:

The Bee Gees performing “Reelin’ and Rockin'” with Chuck Berry on The Midnight Special, Oct. 12, 1973

At last! An official YouTube Channel has been created for The Midnight Special TV series, celebrating the legendary late-night TV show that featured the biggest names in music, comedy and entertainment from the 70s and early 80s. The March 6, 2023, launch is from from producer Burt Sugarman.

From Musical legends like Tina Turner, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Elton John, The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, and Olivia Newton-John, to comedians like Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Richard Pryor and George Carlin, The Midnight Special showcased many of the industry’s biggest artists between 1972 and 1981.

One of the first clips shared on The Midnight Special YouTube channel is from Oct. 12, 1973. The Bee Gees served as hosts at the taping in Burbank, Calif., singing many of their own songs. The trio were in somewhat of a cold spell and without a Top 10 U.S. hit since 1971. (They would return to the top of the charts in a big way in 1975 with “Jive Talkin’,” which paved the way for their enormous success throughout the rest of the decade.)

On this night, their guests on The Midnight Special included King Crimson and Lee Michaels. But their most noteworthy performer was none other than Chuck Berry. Following the surprising success of 1972’s “My Ding-a-Ling,” his first hit in nearly a decade, Chess Records had issued a newly recorded live version of his 1957 favorite, “Reelin’ and Rockin’,” as a single and it ultimately reached #27.

On this occasion Berry, clad in fabulous multi-colored patchwork trousers, begins to perform his composition with his song. It’s not until the 2 1/2-minute mark that he’s joined by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb as the now-foursome brings it home, followed by a reprise.

With over 400 episodes produced over a decade, The Midnight Special‘s original pilot and dozens of performances will be officially released to stream, many available for the first time in nearly fifty years.

Related: Our feature on some great rock performances on the series including numbers by Faces, Peter Frampton and the Guess Who

“The Midnight Special was a groundbreaking and revolutionary show that pushed the boundaries of what was possible on television as not one broadcaster had programming available after 1:00 a.m. back then,” said Sugarman, the show’s creator. “I insisted on live performances in front of an audience, there was no lip syncing.”

Sugarman also produced 1970’s game shows like Celebrity Sweepstakes and the TV series, The Richard Pryor Show. In the 1980’s, he produced the motion pictures Kiss Me Goodbye, Extremities and Children of a Lesser God for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Baybluesman
    #1 Baybluesman 9 March, 2023, 21:26

    What a wonderful time to be a music enthusiast…

    Shows like the Midnight Special, In Concert, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, SNL’s guest musical acts (when real musicians performed), etc., weekly presented and exposed popular and current musicians (at their respective times) to the masses, and provided fans the opportunity to see national and international bands perform live; bands that may have never performed even remotely close to their fans’ hometowns.

    I look forward to the Midnight Special’s You Tube channel, and relive, if even for a few minutes at each viewing, a time of freer spirits and more genuine acceptance of differing musical genres.

    Support Live Music.

    Reply this comment
  2. chrisCC
    #2 chrisCC 13 October, 2023, 19:35

    never knew about that song until George Thorogood included it on a live album in the mid 80s. but Chuck’s version here is outstanding.

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.