MTV aka Music Television...August 1, 1981.

By Joe Maurath, Jr.; posted August 1, 2011

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The exact time was 12:01 EDT on August 1, 1981. What revolutionary event took place? Music Television. And, what happened? America discovered video music and from that moment on, it has forever since changed the way we see rock 'n roll and related top-hit music hits. Traditionally, television was the same old wasteland of a few here-and-there rock shows late at night. At the same time FM radio had tightened-up the playlist, often ignoring new music. Record companies also were often starved for new ways to expose rock-n-roll. It was time for Music Television.

At just around the same time, by a quantum leap, a revised "newer" cable television came of age. Instead of stuck with over-the-air channels, there were often 20, 40 or 60 channels to choose from. By spinning the dial of a manual cable box (remember those?) you got one channel devoted to movies; another about news; another about sports; and even another about weather (TWC), etc.... It was definitely time for MTV...

My generation that grew up with TV and rock-n-roll finally had its channel to call it's own. MTV was and still is 24/7.

With MTV rock-n-roll entered our collective imaginations. For good. Bands created more and more video clips with all sorts of set designers, art directors, actors, etc. The simple videos of a group lip-synching on a television stage were gone...

The first Video DiscJockeys (VJs) on MTV were Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn.

And as the switch was thrown on August 1, 1981 at 12:01 AM....which is EXACTLY 30 years to the *very* second from my upload here on ICON....NOW...the first video appeared on MTV.... "Video Killed The Video Star" by the Buggles (1979).

Although the method of streaming video has incredibly changed since MTV stunned America, music with videos has not.

And why have I presented and made such a big fuss about MTV fokelore and their wonderful Hall of Fame musical documentary?

I guess it is because I have collected music videos since 1984 upon being the first in my area to receive cable TV. I was truly hooked and fascinated with MTV not very long after the cable installer's van left my driveway.

From there, I have proudly amassed hundreds upon hundreds of home-recorded VHS tapes (that still work great!) representing the earlier and very best years (in my opinion) of the music video era.

Thank you, MTV.