The 80s was the decade of big hair, neon lights, and most importantly, the birth of MTV. The channel revolutionized the music industry and created a new generation of stars: the MTV VJs.
What were MTV VJs?
MTV VJs were the on-air hosts of the channel who introduced music videos and provided commentary, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. They were the face of MTV and became cultural icons of the 80s.
- Mark Goodman: One of the original five VJs, Goodman was known for his sarcastic wit and cool demeanor. He became a fan favorite and is often considered one of the most iconic MTV VJs of all time.
- Nina Blackwood: Another original VJ, Blackwood was known for her dance background and infectious personality. She brought a unique energy to the channel and was beloved by audiences.
- Alan Hunter: Hunter joined MTV in 1983 and quickly became a fan favorite. With his good looks and charming personality, he became one of the most recognizable VJs of the 80s.
- Martha Quinn: Quinn was the only female VJ to be hired during the first year of MTV’s existence, and she quickly made a name for herself. She was known for her quirky personality and love of new wave music.
The Impact of MTV VJs
- Bridging the Gap: MTV VJs helped to bridge the gap between musicians and their fans by introducing music videos and providing behind-the-scenes footage.
- Cultural Influence: The VJs became cultural icons of the 80s and had a major impact on fashion, music, and pop culture. They helped to define the decade and are still remembered today.
The MTV VJs of the 80s were more than just on-air hosts, they were cultural icons who helped to shape the music industry. They brought a new level of excitement to the channel and will always be remembered as the pioneers of MTV.
When MTV First Aired
On August 1st, 1981, a new channel debuted on cable television and changed the music world forever. MTV, the first 24-hour music television channel, was born and revolutionized the way we listen to music.
The Idea Behind MTV
- The Brainchild of John Lack: John Lack, a former executive at Warner Cable, came up with the idea for a 24-hour music channel after noticing the success of music video shows in Europe.
- The Concept: The concept was simple, air music videos and have VJs introduce them and provide commentary. Lack and his team believed that this format would bring a new level of excitement to the music industry.
- August 1st, 1981: After months of planning, MTV finally launched on August 1st, 1981. The first video played was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.
- The Reception: The reception was mixed, with some people skeptical of the concept and others thrilled by the idea of a 24-hour music channel. However, within a few months, MTV was a hit and had become a cultural phenomenon.
The Early Years
- The VJs: The early years of MTV were defined by the VJs, who became cultural icons of the 80s. The original five VJs, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, J.J. Jackson, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn, were instrumental in the success of the channel.
- The Music Videos: The music videos that MTV aired in the early years were groundbreaking and often pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable. From the first video, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” to classics like “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, the music videos helped to define the 80s and cement MTV’s place in popular culture.
MTV revolutionized the music industry by introducing 24-hour music television and bringing music videos to the masses. The VJs of the 80s were the faces of the channel and helped to bridge the gap between musicians and their fans.
From “Video Killed the Radio Star” to iconic videos like “Thriller,” MTV and its VJs will always be remembered for their influence on popular culture. We wouldn’t have the same music industry we have today without the contributions of the original MTV VJs. They will always be remembered as pioneers and cultural icons of the 80s.