Video did not kill the radio star

Snooki killed the video star.
The Buggles recorded “Video Killed the Radio Star” in 1978 and it was the first music video played on a brand-new TV network called Music Television (MTV) in August of 1981.
Radio did not die. Music videos flourished with artsy mini movies promoting tunes by Duran Duran, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Idol and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Un-photogenic bands like ZZ Top let ladies with great legs take centre stage.
Then it all went tits up.
MTV realized that reality shows like The Real World and Jersey Shore were more profitable and MTV pretty much became RTV.
Go back to the ’40s and musicians wanted to ban recorded music because if people could listen to music at home, why would they ever venture into clubs or concert halls to hear it in person?
Recorded music would kill live performances.
And TV was supposed to be the end of movies, at least in terms of people catching films at their local theatres.
Compact discs meant music lovers would never again spin vinyl records on turntables and could only find such items at flea markets.
How many predictions have not come true? What current prognosticators will be laughed at ten or twenty years from now? Many of them will be wrong because almost every “this is the new reality” is contradicted by something no one saw coming.
Live shows need to be Disney-esque extravaganas? Sam Smith can captivate an arena crowd just by singing. Imagine that!
It’s all about pre-packaged, created-in-a-boardroom pop stars (okay, mostly true)? And here’s a teenager from New Zealand named Lorde who makes us say, “Wow, who is that?”
Streaming is the future. It’s all about hit singles. Rock is dead (no it fucking isn’t). Music was better when you were 18. Albums are dead. Radio is on its last legs. Digital tunes and CDs will be little more than add-ons to live shows and merchandise, loss leaders to sell tickets.
Some of those predictions will come true. Others will be total bullshit and ridiculed years from now. Technology is evolving at a blinding pace so I’d rather ride it out and see what happens.
Somehow, someway I’ll find music I love…new, old…record, CD, MP3 or Youtube…and let the tech wizards devise things I can’t possibly imagine.

About johnnymaraca

host of Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot, the rockingest show on the radio. 60 years of rockin' rhythm and blues, from the late '40s pioneers like Louis Jordan to Elvis, Chuck Berry, CCR, Stray Cats, Ramones and tons more. Friday and Saturday nights at 7 on 97.7 the Beach, listen live at http://977thebeach.ca, and WRSG in Middlebourne, West Virginia, Tuesdays 6-8 pm.
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