On August 1, 1981 MTV made its introduction to the world, a new network with the sole purpose of playing music videos all day. Even with all their technical difficulties, MTV was a revolutionary idea that changed how we listened to music, what music we bought, and how bands would perform it.
The initial broadcasting included five VJ's or video jockeys that introduced the different videos on rotation. The VJ's would also read out the New York P.O. Box address where you had to mail your comments or requests! It was the only way to contact the network until 1-800-DIAL-MTV was born!
When you see the early videos now, many of which were live performances or low-budget productions, you wonder what was so revolutionary. But MTV slowly became a cable sensation that everyone wanted to have. They even had many commercials showing different artists pleading with the audience to call their local cable stations to say "I Want My MTV!"
Ironically, MTV has evolved into a network that shows very little music. Now it is more well-known for it's reality shows such as "The Real World," "Teen Mom," and "The Jersey Shore." Through the years many other channels have spun-off to still show music videos.
Those of us that were lucky enough to see the original video programming will never forget how cool it was to be able to see the music. It was so new and different to be able to see what your favorite singers and bands looked like. And when videos were more conceptualized, they were just so fun to see.
The first ever video played was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. The second video played was the rockin' "You Better Run" by Pat Benetar: