Monday, August 01, 2011

All those years ago (30, to be exact)

It was 30 years ago today when a certain cable channel made its heralded debut.

MTV was launched as an initialism of "Music Television" when the clip “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles aired on August 1, 1981. (The second video to air was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run.")

The channel had a profound effect on pop culture and signaled a new era in how the country consumed music and perceive musicians. The channel's original format was initially like a radio station where on-air hosts known as VJs would introduce video segments.

Eventually MTV would introduce such shows as "Headbangers Ball" and "YO! MTV Raps", which appealed to specific musical tastes. For a geeky, lily-white urban kid, it was just what I needed. That is, I could sing along to these tunes in the solitude of my basement TV room (I still know the lyrics to Enter Sandman AND It Was A Good Day). Yes, both genres of music were my own private guilty pleasures!

Today, many of the original VJ's can be heard via satellite radio. Sirius XM 80s on 8 is all 80s tunes all the time, with the likes of Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood and Martha Quinn bringing us back to that great decade!! And while Martha still sounds as cute as she ever did, Nina's voice resembles that of Phyllis Diller.

Unfortunately, the channel which was dubbed "all music, all the time" is barely recognizable these days, given such vacuous programming as Jersey Shore, The Real World, 16 and Pregnant, My Sweet 16 and Teen Wolf (No, not the Michael J. Fox '80s movie).

Nevertheless, such vapidity can't take away the fond memories I have seeing my favorite musicians rock out in front of a camera.


No comments: