The Nighthawks' history is extensive, beginning in the '70s when the band criss-crossed the country playing clubs and colleges then dominated by the sounds of country rock and disco. The band spread their version of roots rock, soul, and rockabilly and blues that was hardly the standard fare. In addition The Nighthawks were considered touring pioneers, since only a handful of Chicago blues stars were touring nationally, and the west coast blues bands stayed on their side of the Great Divide.
The Nighthawks continued to perform through-out the country, when in 1986 they performed their hugely successful "Farewell-For-Now-Tour". After long-timer Jim Thackery departed for a solo career and short-timer Greg Wetzel returned to Nashville, The Nighthawks stopped just long enough to catch their breath. They reformed a few times over the next several years while continuing to tour relentlessly. The first line-up featured Jimmy Hall (lead vocals and saxophone and harp) and Jimmy Nalls (lead guitar and back-up vocals) and lasted through 1990. When those two left, Danny Morris (lead guitar and vocals) and Mike Cowen (keyboards and back-up vocals) joined the group. In 1992, Mike left the group to go to college and at the end of 1994 Danny left to pursue a solo career. Thereafter, Pete Kanaras joined the band in January of 1995 and continues with the band to this date.