Aug. 1 is the official anniversary of the birth of MTV, that iconic television channel that began as one entirely about music, and soon devolved into mostly reality television with the likes of Snooki and JWoww (who are coming to Morristown for the filming of "Jersey Shore"). So in honor of the channel's 31st birthday, we present five facts to know about MTV.
Information from history.com.
- Aug. 1, 1981—MTV:Music Television launched on Aug. 1, 1981 with the words, "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," spoken by John Lack, one of the channel's creators.
- "Video Killed The Radio Star"—This video, by the Buggles, was the first to play on the channel when it opened, and it was initially only available to some households in parts of New Jersey.
- Influential—The network became very influential in music, pop culture and other forms of entertainment, being shown all over the United States, and developing MTV-branded channels in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
- VJs—The channel began by showing lots of music videos continuously, introduced by the MTV VJs, and provided by record companies. Later on, the network started to focus on teen-oriented non-video programming with reality shows like "The Real World." Later, music programming was mostly limited to "Total Request Live," which was canceled after about 10 years on the air.
- Video Music Awards—The network eventually rolled out the Video Music Awards in 1984, which were followed by the MTV Movie Awards in 1992.