Skip to comments.MTV Anniversary (August 1, 1981)
Posted on 07/31/2014 10:52:24 PM PDT by beaversmom
On this day in 1981, MTV: Music Television goes on the air for the first time ever, with the words (spoken by one of MTVs creators, John Lack): Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll. The Buggles Video Killed the Radio Star was the first music video to air on the new cable television channel, which initially was available only to households in parts of New Jersey. MTV went on to revolutionize the music industry and become an influential source of pop culture and entertainment in the United States and other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and Latin America, which all have MTV-branded channels.
In MTVs early days, its programming consisted of basic music videos that were introduced by VJs (video jockeys) and provided for free by record companies. As the record industry recognized MTVs value as a promotional vehicle, money was invested in making creative, cutting-edge videos. Some directors, including Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Three Kings) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), worked on music videos before segueing into feature films. In the 1980s, MTV was instrumental in promoting the careers of performers such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince and Duran Duran, whose videos played in heavy rotation.
By the late 1980s, MTV started airing non-video programming, geared toward teenagers and young adults. Its popular reality series The Real World launched in 1992 and was followed by such highly rated shows as The Osbournes, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, Laguna Beach, My Super Sweet 16 and The Hills. MTV also debuted animated series including Beavis and Butthead and Celebrity Deathmatch, as well as documentaries, news, game shows and public service campaigns on topics ranging from voting rights to safe sex. MTV developed a reputation for pushing cultural boundaries and taste; the airing of Madonnas 1989 Like a Prayer video is just one famous example. In 1984, the channel launched the MTV Music Video Awards, which were followed in 1992 by the MTV Movie Awards. Today, MTVs music-video programming is largely confined to one show, Total Request Live.
I don't consider MTV after a certain point in time as real MTV. They went weird and were not related to music at all...or very little. I'm talking about the original line up of VJs, J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn, Mark Goodman, and Alan Hunter, and all the wonderful new music that came out in the 80s. That part of my teen years was a great time, from about 1982 to 1985, and I recall it fondly.
Yes, I can remember when they actually showed music videos.
Very first video:
Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star
Rap got “equal time” and MTV became crap.
I liked it in the early 80s.
Yes, that was definitely part of the decline.
“The Buggles Video Killed the Radio Star was the first music video to air on the new cable television channel”
And the second video played was Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
I gave up on MTV almost 20 years aqo. I realize that I’m not their target demographic, so it’s probably a good thing. My favorite non-music programs were Beavis and Butthead, Liquid Television, and MTV’s Oddities (especially “The MAXX” - that was just plain awesome).
I remember Beavis and Butthead and The MAXX sounds familiar...also animated?
You made me think of this:
Joe’s Apartment (Original MTV Short)
Today’s version of VKTRS
Found this. Seems kind of familiar:
The Maxx (Opening)
I think the 3rd was “White Wedding”.
I loved The MAXX.
For years I hunted until I found a crummy DVD copy on eBay.
Night Flight was good, too.
I grew up on Midnight Special and Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.
Hard acts to follow.
I still have a t-shirt of the MTV birthday stored in the attic. My early HS years. Later, I quite liked ‘120 Minutes’. Now, I have it blocked on our TV. Ironic, huh?
Well, MTV’s not *totally* useless.
Remember this one?
You know you are getting old.....
.....if you can remember when MTV had music.
And they played those suckers to death, too.
Eye of the Tiger, Jessie’s Girl....
Have to pull up on phone. Couldn’t pull up computer.
M - Pop Muzik (12” Mix) (HD 16:9)
I do remember this one. :)
I think Billy Idol was a year later. Here is a rundown of the first 10 videos: