Entertainment

The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s  

Best of SNL
494 votes 24 voters 107 items

List Rules Vote up the bands and musicians who did the best job as musical guests on SNL from 1975 through 1979.

Even though Saturday Night Live didn't start until halfway through the decade, there were still plenty of '70s SNL musical guests. And, athough Saturday Night Live might not have started out a hit, as the 1970s slipped past, SNL cemented itself into the TV viewing habits of the masses. If you can't remember everybody played on the show, then refresh your memory with this list of the bands who played on SNL from 1975 through 1979, ranked from best SNL '70s musical guests to worst SNL '70s musical guests.

Ranging from Devo to The Rolling Stones, Saturday Night Live musical guests also included The Blues Brothers, a band born from a sketch on SNL itself. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel even reunited for the first time publicly on SNL during the second episode of the show.

Just like the seasons and episodes themselves, the Saturday Night Live musical guests of the 1970s range from great to grueling. Vote up the bands and musicians who did the best job as musical guests on SNL in the '70s.

list ordered by
1
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
George Benson is a ten-time Grammy Award-winning American musician, guitarist and singer-songwriter. He began his professional career at twenty-one, as a jazz guitarist. Benson uses a ...more
2
Leo Sayer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Disco, Pop music, Pop rock
Leo Sayer is a British-born singer-songwriter musician, and entertainer whose singing career has spanned four decades. Sayer launched his career in the UK in the early 1970s and became a top ...more
3
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music
Linda Maria Ronstadt is an American popular music singer. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, and ...more
4
Neil Sedaka is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Pop music, Rock music
Neil Sedaka is an American pop/rock singer, pianist, and composer. Since his music career began in 1957, he has sold millions of records as an artist and has written or co-written over 500 songs ...more
5
Santana is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Rock music
Santana is a Latin rock band, founded in San Francisco during the late 1960s by Carlos Santana as a vehicle for his compositions and guitar style. The band first came to widespread public ...more
6
Al Jarreau is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
Alwin "Al" Lopez Jarreau is an American jazz singer.
7
Ashford & Simpson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues
Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson were a husband-and-wife songwriting-production team and recording artists. Ashford was born in Fairfield, South Carolina, and Simpson in the Bronx, New York. ...more
8
Bill Withers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Smooth soul, Pop music, Rhythm and blues
William Harrison "Bill" Withers, Jr. is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded a number of major hits including ...more
9
Esther Phillips is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Popular music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
Esther Phillips was an American singer. Phillips was known for her R&B vocals, but she was a versatile singer, also performing pop, country, jazz, blues and soul music.
10
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Dubstep, Jug band, Country pop
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is an American country-folk-rock band that has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California in 1966. The group's membership has had at least a ...more
11
Taj Mahal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, Soul blues, Electric blues
Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, who uses the stage name Taj Mahal, is an American Grammy Award-winning blues musician. He often incorporates elements of world music into his works. A self-taught ...more
12
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene", ...more
13
Gil Scott-Heron is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Spoken Word Soul, Fusion, Jazz-funk
Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and '80s. His collaborative ...more
14
Gregory Hines is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Gregory Oliver Hines was an American actor, singer, dancer and choreographer.
15
Jackson Browne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock
Clyde Jackson Browne is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded ...more
16
Levon Helm is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Americana, Rock music, Folk music
Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm was an American rock and Americana musician and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and regular lead vocalist for the Band. Helm was known for his deeply ...more
17
Peter Tosh is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady
Peter Tosh, OM was a Jamaican reggae musician. Along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer he was one of the core members of the band The Wailers, after which he established himself as a successful ...more
18
Rickie Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll
Rickie Lee Jones is an American vocalist, musician, songwriter and producer. Over the course of a career of over three decades, Jones has recorded in various musical styles including rock, ...more
19
The Chieftains is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Folk music of Ireland, Celtic music
The Chieftains are a traditional Irish band formed in Dublin in November 1962, by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy. The band had their first rehearsals at Moloney's house, with ...more
20
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music
George Ivan "Van" Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are described as mystical and transcendental, while some of his ...more
21
Stuff is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Stuff Jazz-funk, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
Stuff was an American, New York City-based jazz-funk band active in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The members were Gordon Edwards, Richard Tee, Eric Gale, Cornell Dupree, Chris Parker, and ...more
22
Eddie Money is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music
Eddie Money (March 21, 1949 – September 13, 2019) was an American rock guitarist, saxophonist and singer-songwriter, who found success in the 1970s and 1980s with a string of Top 40 hits and ...more
23
Eubie Blake is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Popular music, Ragtime, Jazz
James Hubert Blake, better known as Eubie Blake, was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, Blake and long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote ...more
24
Garrett Morris is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Garrett Gonzalez Morris is an American comedian and actor. He was part of the original cast of the sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live, appearing from 1975 to 1980. Morris also had a ...more
25
Jimmy Cliff is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Ska, Reggae
Jimmy Cliff, OM is a Jamaican ska & reggae musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and actor. He is the only living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be ...more