Today is August 1st and on this date 38 years ago, the face of music changed. Mainly because you could actually see the faces. It wasn’t the beginning of music videos but it was the beginning of the “music video era.” August 1, 1981, is the day that MTV launched.
Now, for you young folks, this is not the same MTV you watch, now. Well, it is, but isn’t. As this video states, it was the first 24-hour, stereo video music channel. I was still in WV and we had 4 channels so I didn’t have MTV. My grandparents who lived in a larger town in the state had it and every time we went up there, I was glued to the television. You couldn’t pull me away. Where I was, we had TBS and it had Night Tracks that came on at 7pm and went off at 7am each Friday and Saturday night but that wasn’t until around 1983 or so.
So, when we moved to WSNC, the part that Ma ‘Rents got me to accept that we were moving was that we would have a lot of channels and most importantly, we were going to have MTV. I would run home from school (even in the 10th grade) in time to see Hard 30 (or 60) and just see what was the next vid.
Remote Control, Half Hour Comedy Hour, Liquid Television and The Real World is what set the wheels in motion to not only show videos but add other programming. I never wanted that. Turns out, it changed it to what it would eventually become. But, it also did a lot to make stars and also did away with some artists’ careers. Think of Madonna and Christopher Cross respectively.
John, Alan, Nina and Martha all look so young. RIP JJ!
Until tomorrow, I want my (old) MTV!
“And starting right now, you will never look at music the same again…” – Mark Goodman