A seemingly little known fact in Television history, unless your a Monkees fan, MTV was born of a Michael Nesmith’s idea for Nickelodeon called “Pop Clips”. He sold the idea to Time Warner in 1980. MTV began airing at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 1981 with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll” voiced over footage of the first space shuttle launch.
The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”. 30 years later, what ‘killed’ MTV?
24 hours a day, seven days a week, you could turn the channel on and see music videos. Hosted by VJs or not, Music Television had music. There was music news on the top of every hour, and music specials.
Today? A peak at the program schedule shows a lack of videos being played during peak viewing hours. 3am to 9am is videos, the rest of the day is reality TV and series programing.
If only we could call Mike up and ask him “Hey, what do you think of what’s become of this piece of music culture you helped create?”