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Today in History (1981): The First Ever MTV Telecast

On this same day in 1981, our lives changed with MTV.

Photo via Wikipedia

The principal concept of MTV was pretty simple: to play music videos introduced by fresh-faced TV personalities known as video jockeys or VJs. The cable channel, based in New York, was obviously geared towards promoting musicians that deserved attention, and whose record labels could afford to produce music videos.

MTV launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia and of the Apollo 11 launch, on August 1, 2013 at 12:01 am. The first ever music video shown was The Bugles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

MTV filmed their VJs in intro and outro segments to music videos, accompanied by interviews, music news, concert dates and footage, and promotions. And in support of the claim that they were the world’s first 24-hour stereo video music channel, pre-taped programming was scheduled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A horde of rock bands were featured by MTV is the 1980’s, from new wave acts such as The Eurythmics, Culture Club, and Duran Duran to heavier-sounding groups like Van Halen, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard. Some of the classic Rock acts that were featured are Journey, Billy Joel, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, and Dire Straits, whose 1985 song and video “Money for Nothing” included the “I Want My MTV slogan as part of its lyrics.

MTV has since held the annual MTV Music Awards, conducted special events and live concert coverage, and produced animated series and reality programs, as well as films for cinematic viewing. It has also branched out to different regions worldwide, and currently targets a teenage audience.

Here is a clip from MTV’s first ever telecast 32 years ago.

Video via youtube

Information for this article was sourced from Wikipedia

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by jillytanrad

1 comment

  1. holgardo

    holgardo

    I miss my MTV
    Back in the nineties, when I was a teenager, was about great music ans videos, about revolutionary cartoons, about the youth cultures becoming mainstreem, about everybody going acustic. Now it is about stupid shows like Jersey Shore and the like, about Justin Bieber and company.

    9 months ago · report as spam