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October 7, 2015

See every video from MTV's first day - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 8th 2006 3:01PM

bugglesWouldn't it have been hysterical if on its first day MTV couldn't afford the rights to any songs, so the entire day was nothing but videos for public domain songs like "Happy Birthday" "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?" I'm sure a few strobes and a fog machine would have added a whole new dimension to "Three Blind Mice," as performed by Alice Cooper: "She cut off their tails with a CARVING KNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!!!"

But no, MTV launched in 1981 with a bunch of videos of regular pop and rock musicians, starting off with The Buggles catchy "Video Killed the Radio Star," a hit song that was later followed by other great hits from the band such as "Country Music Molested A TV Personality" and "Ragtime Was Convicted of Aggravated Assault."

Thanks to whoever runs the blog IZ Reloaded, you can now watch YouTube clips of every video that aired when MTV first jumped out of your cable box. There's also some REO Speedwagon songs for people like me who mock the band when around friends but secretly sings "Keep On Loving You" in the shower. I've placed The Buggles' video after the jump, cause I love that song.

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Evan Erwin

Yup, Happy B-day is extremely copyrighted. It costs a million bucks to use it in a movie (and TV show? Not sure).

This is why "For he's a Jolly Good Fellow" is used for the low-rent productions (watch for it on stuff like USA and Lifetime).

November 08 2006 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I still remember that first day. I was sitting in my hand-me-down recliner, in my college apartment, watching a 19" used color TV I had bought at a local hotel's "going out of business" sale. I did have a really decent stereo, though, and since those hotel TVs had audio-out plugs on them, I rigged up a connection to my stereo. Unfortunately, all I got was amped-up tv-quality sound, which was pretty poor back then.

It was fun putting faces in the videos to members of the bands, some of which I had never seen.

November 08 2006 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was going to post on the "Happy Birthday" comment as well - there's a reason some comedy shows make specific references to altering the words and tune of the song to make fun of this fact (see Futurama, others). Sorry to add to the list of people jumping on ya, Adam.

November 08 2006 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ah yes... when MTV was worth watching.

I didn't give a crap what my friends thought about REO Speedwagon, I have to support the local boys who were partly responsible for the power ballad. :)

November 08 2006 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very cool link. I had forgotten all about the early days of MTV and how it use to be. There are some Classic bands and videos from that first day. I'm going to have to sit down and watch more than a few of them when I get home.

November 08 2006 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Richard, you beat me to the punch on this one. Good call. :)

November 08 2006 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Smith

Happy Birthday isn't in the public domain. The copyright is owned by AOL Time Warner. Didn't you watch Sports Night?

November 08 2006 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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