MTV Turns 30

30-years ago a cable channel changed the way we listen and looked at music. MTV, Music Television was launched on August 1, 1981. Lets go back in time when we saw the first video on the channel, “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles.

The original VJ’s such as Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and the late JJ Jackson who passed away in 2004 introduce the video segments and become a member of the family in the 80’s as viewers watched from there living rooms. “We sort of propped it up when there was kind of an indulgence in the industry,” says Goodman. “We were coming off Saturday Night Fever in 1979 and the industry had this gigantic bubble and then things got awful quiet. We came along just in time and revitalized things, or at least opened people up to more music.”

To everyone who may not remember MTV did show videos on their channel and some of the most memorable videos of all-time. When looking back at the first hour of the show, which was aired on the VH1 Classic station over the past weekend the video started as taped performance pieces, not the elaborate short films that you can see now. Though MTV was not available in all ever city around the country. “Part of the job was to hang out with cable operators and convince them to pick up MTV,” Goodman says. Goodman also added, “Within six months we started getting these stories back from small towns in the Midwest and in the South where people were going into record stores and asking for the Buggles, who had been off the shelves for about three years by 1981. I also remember doing an appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming at a record store where thousands of people showed up. I said, ‘What’s going

The originals MTV VJ's from 1981. (left to right: Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and JJ Jackson)

on?’ They said, ‘You.’ I was completely blown away, and I said, ‘Okay, it’s working.'”

The station changed the entire music industry and made some of the biggest stars even larger. Michael Jackson was one of the artist that MTV made him an even larger star than he already was with one of the most view video at the time being, “Thriller.” It launched some of the careers of such celebrities today such as Adam Sandler on the game show Remote Control, Gilbert Gottfried, Jon Stewart, Dennis Leary to just name a few of the names who had a starts on the channel.

Is MTV still a music channel as it was then? No. It is sad to say instead of seeing music and live concerts or footage of these shows we have teenage girls who are pregnant, fist pumping guys and girls from Jersey and teenage werewolves. Yet they still say they are a music station and it looks like it wont change any time soon. The only time they show music anymore is in the early, early morning or during the annual MTV Video Music Awards.

At least we have the memories and YouTube to look back at MTV’s path and see the videos we all love.


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Michael Sandoval

Michael created MUSE/MUSE TV after a career in professional sports and journalism. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Don Bosco Technical Institute in which he studied Electronics and Computer Science and California State University, Fullerton in which he graduated with a degree from the College of Communication in Journalism. He is a big Foo Fighters fan, loves Star Wars and loves photography.

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