Happy Birthday MTV

Posted on August 1, 2013

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“Ladies and Gentlemen, rock and roll,” an announcer intoned over classic NASA video of the first space shuttle countdown clock followed by the launch of Apollo 11.

MTV's original stable of VJ's: JJ Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter

MTV’s original stable of VJ’s: JJ Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter

Then the classic guitar riff, the original MTV theme, destined to be a siren song for teens the world over, played for the very first time.

And with that, on Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m Eastern Standard Time – the world stopped listening to music and started looking at it.

An English New Wave group called the Buggles kicked things off with the most aptly ironic song of all time, a little ditty called ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ a Pat Benatar tune followed and with that MTV debuted.

In MTV’s infancy, occasional pauses came to be the norm as employees would swap out VHS tapes, the fledgling cable network only had one VCR when they started out.

Those days didn’t last long though, MTV was a monster hit with the masses.

Forget the huge ratings, or how established music legends like Journey, The Moody Blues, ZZ Top etc., quickly climbed on board. Never mind how MTV arguably launched the careers of Madonna, Duran Duran and a score of other stars.

Just consider this, less than 4 years after the world’s original music TV network debuted, Dire Straights w/guest vocalist Sting, had one of the biggest hits of the 1980’s with a song called ‘Money for Nothin’, a tune that begins with Sting wailing ‘I want my… I want my MMMTTTTVVVVV’ over and over.

MTV changed music, it changed television, it changed pop culture.

And its 32 years old today. Damn that makes me… never mind.

We may be greying but just like MTV, us aging Gen-Xer’s are gonna keep on rockin in the free world.

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