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This Day in Pop Culture for August 1

The Buggles

1981: The First Music Video is Aired

On this day in 1981, MTV: Music Television went on the air for the first time. The first words spoken were, “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” by one of the creators, John Lack. MTV was to be a visual radio hosted by VJ’s (video jockeys). The very first video shown was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. The Buggles originally planned to be called The Bugs until someone joked that the Bugs would never be as big as the Beatles. So Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn changed it to The Buggles; a name that they would later regret. However, the video format changed the music industry in that just about every music release needed to have a video attached to it if it was going to sell. However, instead of video killing the radio, it seems that radio has won out since MTV rarely shows music videos at all these days and it is no longer short for “music television.”


  • 1933: Dom DeLuise (actor)
  • 1936: Yves Saint Laurent (fashion designer)
  • 1942: Jerry Garcia (singer)
  • 1963: Coolio (rapper)
  • 1965: Sam Mendes (film director)
  • 1979: Jason Momoa (actor)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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