MTV Celebrates 30 Years – Watch the First Hour of Programming From 1981
MTV, the network that pioneered the concept of “music television,” turns 30 years old on Monday. It's a somewhat muted celebration in our minds, as sadly the network hardly seems to play actual music these days. But almost as soon as it first launched, the channel changed the music world dramatically, and the effects are still being felt to this day. Here's the classic first hour of MTV as it aired at 12:01 AM on August 1, 1981:
MTV's First Hour: Segment One
The now-famous space launch commercial sets the stage for MTV's first-ever video, which everyone knows was the appropriately titled 'Video Killed The Radio Star' by The Buggles. But do you know who was second? That's right, Pat Benatar.
MTV's First Hour: Segment Two
MTV's First Hour: Segment Three
MTV's First Hour: Segment Four
MTV's First Hour: Segment Five
Oh my goodness, the Atari 2600! That commercial, and a news item on the return of the Ramones are your classic rock highlights, sandwiched between videos from Robin Lane and the Chartbusters (apparently not!) and Split Enz.
MTV's First Hour: Segment Six
.38 Special start us off right with a straight-ahead performance video for their radio staple 'Hold On Loosely,' we get re-acquainted with April Wine, and then finally, Rod Stewart pops up with another song (remember, MTV didn't have many videos at the beginning!)