MTV premiered at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1, 1981. (Bébéranol/Wikimedia Commons)

MTV premiered 38 years ago

Video Killed the Radio Star was the first video aired on the channel

The year was 1981 — shoulder pads were abundant and the bigger the hair, the better. This was also the year that MTV: Music Television aired for the very first time.

The channel premiered on Aug. 1, 1981 at 12:01 a.m. First, footage from the launch of NASA’s first orbiter was played and then, in a slightly robotic voice, co-creator John Lack said: “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.”

The MTV theme song then rang out over footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk with the American flag replaced by the MTV logo.

The first video played on the channel was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, followed by Styx, Rod Stewart and several other artists. With that, the 24-hour broadcasts had begun.

MTV’s early days consisted of music videos curated by their video jockeys — or VJs. Performers such as Duran Duran, Madonna and The Eurythmics had videos that were played on MTV regularly. Initially, the videos were basic, but as the program became more popular, more effort was put into the videos as recording studios recognized the value of promoting singers though MTV.

READ ALSO: Battle of the algebraic mnemonics occurs on Twitter

Since its debut, MTV has introduced several TV shows, documentaries, public service campaigns, news and the MTV Music Video Awards. MTV had a reputation for pushing boundaries by touching on topics such as safe sex and playing music videos that some considered to be risque.

Now, MTV’s content is mostly drama, comedy and reality TV, but the MTV Music Video Awards still take place annually and staple segments such as Unplugged have remained albeit inconsistently.

According to Bell Media, there are 63 MTV-branded channels worldwide.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Saanich serves up virtual Strawberry Festival

Residents invited to look back on 54 years of festivals

Stelly’s grads shocked after ‘anonymous friend’ pays for dinner

Friends took limo to Deep Cove Chalet to celebrate after graduation festivities cancelled

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

VicPD investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read