Saturday Night by Bay City Rollers (Arista, 1976)


In the late 70s, Saturday night was acquiring a huge reputation for itself. It spawned two variety shows in 1975 – Saturday Night Live and Saturday Night Live with Howard CosellSaturday Night Fever – a little indie movie that took over 1978 with one of the biggest soundtracks of all time and of course the pop song, Saturday Night from the Scottish band, The Bay City Rollers, which hit #1 in early 1976. [The group actually performed Saturday Night on Saturday Night Live on a Saturday night.]

My 70s Saturday nights were a constant struggle to see how much TV I could watch and for how long, especially as I got older. I knew I didn’t have much leeway with the parents. But if they decided to go out dancing, meet friends, attend key parties, whatever, I knew I could work our babysitter, Loretta, over for a few extra hours. I loved those Saturdays when I knew my folks were going out. That meant I could pick out any TV dinner I wanted when we went shopping at Pathmark. Jolly Rogers made my favorite ones with the most variety and the best dessert. Man, I’d be thinking about that all day. Oh, the power of the aluminum-flavored Salisbury steak and apple cobbler. What I should have focused on was figuring out how to watch Saturday Night Live. I knew I could push through the Love Boat, but I just could never make it past the Fantasy Island opening credits. And if Loretta’s boyfriend snuck over, I might not even glimpse Julie’s mug through the porthole. But I digress….

Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers was actually written, recorded and released in the UK in 1973 and bombed. The Rollers replaced their lead singer with Les McKeown and within a few months, Rollermania took over. They had 6 straight Top hits, and two of them hit #1 just before they made their debut in the US with Saturday Night. Ironically, it never charted in England, while it became their biggest hit here in the States. Do we dig the weekend more than the Brits? Are we a sucker for chants or any song that requires spelling?

The Rollers got huge and folks wore tartan knickers in their honor. Thankfully that didn’t last long and they soon imploded, although they kept releasing albums into the early 80s and even hosted a Saturday morning show in 1978 called The Krofft Superstar Hour, 2 years too late. I still watched it like anyone who comes upon a car accident. But by then it was over and Rod Stewart kindly asked for his Scottish plaid back, so he could ask folks if they though he was sexy….

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