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TogoldorMandar's avatar

Whats the very first Music Video?

Asked by TogoldorMandar (539points) May 28th, 2010


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12 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t know what the first one is but I do know that the first to play on MTV was Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles.

mrentropy's avatar

Are you counting filmed TV shows, like American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show?

AstroChuck's avatar

Depending on your criteria for what a music video, you could go with Al Jolson singing Mammy from The Jazz Singer. The would surely be the first. Everything filmed before that had no soundtrack.

aprilsimnel's avatar

If you mean short, filmed renditions of popular songs by their original artists, the first would be Spooney Melodies, the precursor to the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes cartoon series, by the Vitagraph Corporation (owned by Warner Bros.) in the 1920s, which were created to help Warner Bros. sell the records and sheet music to the songs in their regular feature films. That was the standard for years.

Then there were ”soundies,” little film clips that were shown at tableside jukeboxes at restaurants in the 1940s and as featurettes before the main film began at the cinemas, then there were similar films made for TV in the 50s, 60s and 70s (The Beatles did a few of those after they stopped touring in 1966 that were played on The Ed Sullivan Show). I personally remember staying up late on Saturday nights as a child in the mid-to-late 1970s to watch Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and The Midnight Special and seeing music videos from Rod Stewart and the like.

Then Mike Nesmith (yes, that guy from the old pop band The Monkees who was tall and wore the green hat) created a show called Pop Clips in 1979 for the Nickelodeon children’s cable network. He had done a video for his own song “Rio” the year before that was very well received and then came up with the idea for Warner Bros. Records (them again!) to promote their recording artists. The idea was sold to Time Warner and they came up with MTV, which, as @AstroChuck said, the first video shown was Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles.

Actually, The Monkees, as a TV show in the late 60s, was also a step towards music videos, as there was always a “video” at the end of the show of the band acting silly, accompanied by one of their songs.

CMaz's avatar

Video is a tricky word when referring to “music Videos.” Music Videos started out as a film medium. Any motion picture that included a song and dance number qualifies.

As far as television goes. Clay Cole was the first to bring this concept to the masses.

Clay Cole The man, the missing link that brought Rock n Roll to Television. First on WNTA (Ch 13 – now WNET) in September 1959 as Rate the Records, within two months the format was changed, and an hour-long Saturday-night show was added. In the summer months, the show was expanded to an hour, six nights a week, live from Palisades Amusement Park, where Chubby Checker first performed and danced “The Twist.” When WNTA’s license was sold to a public broadcasting foundation, the show moved to WPIX (Ch 11 New York) where for five years it was wildly successful, thanks to first-time guest appearances of the Rolling Stones (on a program with one other guest, The Beatles), Neil Diamond, Dionne Warwick, Simon & Garfunkel, Richie Havens, Tony Orlando, and The Rascals. At the height of the show’s popularity, Clay Cole walked away in 1968. Channel 11 erased all the historic tapes in a cost-cutting move.

Clay Cole Interview

cornbird's avatar

nights in white satin?

mariatk's avatar

isn’t it video killed the radio star

CMaz's avatar

Video killed the radio star, first on MTV.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Here’s the 2nd video that was ever shown on MTV, “Time Heals” by pop legend and record producer Todd Rundgren.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Whoops. It’s the 8th. Duuurr.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Dire Straits’ “Money is for Nothing” (if the chicks are free ;)

Clay_Cole's avatar

In the early 1960s there were several 16mm film-clips, with artists singing their hits, for an arcade-like jukebox called Scopotone. The machines were a huge hit in Europe, but failed to catch-on in the USA. My research shows that Tony Bennett made the first music video clip especially shipped to television stations across America. Bennett lip-synched “Stranger In Paradise,” while strolling in a London garden park, back in 1952.

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