by VVN Music
August 1 is a big day for MTV and its associated networks around the world.
35 years ago today, the original MTV network came onto just a few cable systems. It wasn't the first time that music videos had been used to try and create programming. A Philadelphia DJ, Bob Whitney, had used promo clips for his syndicated show The Now Explosion, from the early 70's. The QUBE system in Columbus, OH had an interactive music channel in the late 70's and Michael Nesmith created the series PopClips on Nickelodeon in 1979 which was the model for MTV.
At 12:01 AM on August 1, 1981, MTV debuted with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll" and the now iconic rocket launch/moon flag MTV ID.
The original five MTV DJ's, who would be the face of the station, were on hand from day 1, including Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn and the late-J.J. Jackson.
Then there were the first video's played:
- Video Killed the Radio Star - Buggles
- You Better Run - Pat Benatar
- She Won't Dance With Me - Rod Stewart
- You Better You Bet - Who
- Little Suzi's on the Up - PhD
- We Don't Talk Anymore - Cliff Richard
- Brass in Pocket - Pretenders
- Time Heals - Todd Rundgren
- Take it On the Run - REO Speedwagon
- Rockin' the Paradise - Styx
- When Things Go Wrong - Robin Lane and the Chartbusters
- History Never Repeats - Split Enz
- Hold on Loosely - .38 Special
- Just Between You and Me - April Wine
- Sailing - Rod Stewart
- Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
- Keep on Loving You - REO Speedwagon
- Bluer Than Blue - Michael Johnson
- Message of Love - The Pretenders
- Mr. Briefcase - Lee Ritenour
- MTV Europe launched on August 1, 1987 with the first video being another classic about the music video culture, Money For Nothing by Dire Straits.
- MTV2 debuted on August 1, 1996, returning to an all music format that had recently been cut back on the original MTV. The new channel launched with Beck's Where It's At.
- MTV S, the original Spanish version of MTV, launched on August 1, 1998.
- CMT Music, an offshoot of CMT (owned by MTV) also debuted on August 1, 1998.