Friday 1 January 2021

video hits one

Among many events of pith and moment, as our faithful chronicler informs, this day also shares the 1985 launch of the MTV sister channel aimed at adult contemporary listeners of popular music VH1 in order to fill market niche left by the discontinuation of the short-lived rival network, the Cable Music Channel from the Turner Broadcasting System.

Staple artists from the first years included Billy Joel, Sting, Kenny G, Rod Stewart, Michael Bolton and Tina Turner with programming blocks dedicated to vintage variety show footage, clip specials and Motown, R&B, Sophisti-Pop, smooth jazz and New Age. The eighth video aired was Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” In that first hour of broadcasting, songs played were “Nobody Told Me [There’d be Days Like These]” by John Lennon, Diana Ross’ “Missing You,” “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling”—the Hall & Oates version, “I’m Alright” from Kenny Loggings and “Joanna” by Kool & The Gang.