August 1, 2013


Happy Birthday MTV: Listen to the First Songs Ever Played

Mark Weiss/WireImage
Mark Weiss/WireImage

Today marks MTV's 32nd anniversary. When it launched on August 1, 1981, its original purpose was to play music videos led by "video jockeys," or VJs, like the original lineup seen above. 

While the channel's focus may has shifted, it's the history that counts. The first music video played on the game-changing channel was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." But what else played during those initial few hours or so? It was mostly classic '80s rock stars (think Rod Stewart and Pat Benatar), but also an act that has faded so much from the industry, they don't even exist on Spotify (PH.D's "Little Susie's on the Up"). 

VH1 has the full list here, but listen to nearly all of the first 30 songs played on MTV's first minutes below!