August 1, 1981- The Day MTV Was Born

August 1, 1981 was a hot, sunny day in my hometown of Houston, TX. I was 10 years old, preparing for my last year of elementary school. It was also the day of the birth of MTV. It would be years later before I would be able to get access to it, as we did not have cable. To be exact, I was 16 when cable was installed at our grandparents’ house. However, I did not miss out on very much. NBC’s Friday Night videos kept my sister and I up to date in the world of music videos. There were also video programs on the independent channels, most of them airing over the weekend. As a result, we were never late seeing the hottest videos of the day. When everyone at school was buzzing about Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, I was right in the midst of it all. Speaking of MJ, he was the one to destroy that color barrier when his videos began to receive airplay after the massive success of his “Thriller” album.

Today, VH-1 classic has paid homage to MTV, and these past thirty years. Most of what I have run into is ’90s footage, which is fine. However, my teen years were in the ’80s, and it would be nice to see more of that. We tend to be partial to what we remember, that which we grew up with. Sadly, MTV’s heyday is behind us. My sister informed me last night there are no vee-jays. The days of constant music videos are over. Some blame YouTube. Maybe it is just the times. Music videos are somewhat taken for granted now. In MTV’s early years, they were more fascinating. It was something unique and new. Today, they are far too common.

I must say the creation of the music video changed the face of music, and television. It also changed our lives. There was such of a feeling of excitement in seeing a new video for the first time. Being among the first generation of those who experienced this on a regular basis is a badge of honor. There are those things you are glad you were a part of. This is one of them.

Happy B-day!

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~ by kmnnz on August 2, 2011.

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