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Children of the 1970s: where did music videos air back then?

Dan

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I love VH1 Classic; ot reminds me of the old MTV when that network truly earned the name Music Television.

Occasionally, VH1 Classic will air music videos from the 1970s. These look like conventional music videos, although they have the technology and production values of the day. They aren't videos of a band's appearance on another television show, concert footage adorned with kaleidoscope pattern chyrons and trumpet shots, or a song overlaid with stock film footage illustrating the gestalt of the era; these seem like REAL music videos.

I'm curious about why such videos were produced, and where they were presented. There was no MTV in the 1970s, and the videos seem to predate the UHF music video-only television channels that a few large cities had in the early 1980s before MTV hit the coax. I'm a child of the 1970s, and I don't remember any music video shows; there were late night concert shows on TV, but nothing showing music videos.

So, with no MTV, and no over-the-air video only channels, where did music videos from the 1970s air?
 

Zoning Goddess

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I don't remember seeing any. Bands played on t.v. shows, but that was about it.

Maybe someone was prescient about needing footage in 2004 so some cheesy company could sell "Best of" compilations on late-night t.v.
 

tsc

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there was a show on around midnight in the northeast that was a 1/2 hour of music videos. I think it may have been on after Saturday Night Live. It was just music videos. I can't think of the name though.
 

donk

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Late 70's / early 80's in Toronto on CityTV once a month at about 10PM there was a video show on. Hosted by John (JD) Roberts the CBS news anchor.

I also remember hearing/reading/seeing that during the mid 60's there was an attempt to make a video juke box.
 

Wannaplan?

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Music videos were made in the 1960s and 1970s for promotional purposes. I am a Beatles freak and have done some extensive reading on the group and its history. The stuff I've read always referred to the videos in this context: "The promotional video for Something was released..."
 
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Budgie said:
"Top of the Pops" on the BBC in Great Britain. Was "Night Flight" on in the 1970's? I know they used to show HM videos from the 70's.

http://www.night-flight.tk
I remember "Night Flight" but I think that was on in the 80's. It catered to those who didn't have cable t.v. Weren't there a lot of variety shows in the 70's? I recall seeing a few music videos on those types of shows.
 

Dan

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Budgie said:
Was "Night Flight" on in the 1970's?
I don't think so. Night Flight was a staple of my 1980s television viewing diet, though, back in high school and in the dorms. I remember heading out to partyon Fridays and Saturdays, coming back to the dorm at 3:00 or 4:00 am, and nursing a headache while watching Night Flight with a bunch of friends on the floor lounge. Good times.

Night Flight aired on the USA cable network. I don't think it was over-the-air. There was "Friday Night Videos" on NBC, but that aired after MTV started.
 

Tom R

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tunes

There was a tv show entitled something like "Bill Graham's Rock Concert" and they would show acts at the Filmore East, I think. (The 70's were a lot like the 60's. If you can remember them, you weren't there.) Of course SNL showed a lot of great groups. There were also a lot of college venues. I recall seeing Hendrix at Berkley in a college auditorium. I saw it recently on DVD and intend to buy it, maybe next payday.
 
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otterpop

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How about Don Kirchner's "Midnight Special"? Aired on Friday nights I believe. I am hazy about the details. I was pretty stoned for most of those years.
 

Tom R

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ACL

How far back does the Austin City Limits show go? Lots of great music.
 

tsc

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otterpop said:
How about Don Kirchner's "Midnight Special"? Aired on Friday nights I believe. I am hazy about the details. I was pretty stoned for most of those years.
that's what I remember..... Midnight Special.
 

Dutch

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I'm new on this site...I wound up here because I'm trying to get some info on a show that i remember from the early 70's; a precursor to SNL. It was a muisc/interview show as I recall. It was on WNBC in NYC. I recall a show featuring the original Genesis and a memorable show with Jackson Brown, Steve Miller and Bonnie Rait sitting around talking and singing songs. It didn't last long but it seemed like a real good show.
Does anyone have any memory of such a show?
 

DetroitPlanner

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I do recall seeing videos in the 1970's (pre-MTV) on television. Variety shows would use them for filler, or play them after they talked to a musician (because the local studio was not set-up for bands).

Local shows abound that played these type of acts. One in particular was 'The Scene'

I'm pretty sure shows such as 'Soul Train' or 'American Bandstand' would interplay the videos with shots of dancers sometimes.
 

Dan

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Does anyone have any memory of such a show?
Was it a sketch comedy show?

In the early 1970s, before the SNL we know now, I barely remember a general variety show hosted by Howard Cosell, also called Saturday Night Live, which aired on ABC. In NYC, it would have aired on WABC, of course.

In the early 1980s, ABC aired a SNL clone called Fridays. The musicial acts, though, were usually new wave, punk and metal groups of the day; Pat Benatar, Kiss, Devo, The Clash, and the like.

There were a lot of general variety shows that aired in the early 1970s; Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and so on. The acts featured by those shows were usually along the lines of Joey Heatherton, Glen Campbell, Barry Manilow and the like, but there were was the occasional harder act. Think it could have been one of them? Maybe an airing of Old Grey Whistle Test, but odds are that would have been on PBS.
 

Whose Yur Planner

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I don't think so. Night Flight was a staple of my 1980s television viewing diet, though, back in high school and in the dorms. I remember heading out to partyon Fridays and Saturdays, coming back to the dorm at 3:00 or 4:00 am, and nursing a headache while watching Night Flight with a bunch of friends on the floor lounge. Good times.

Night Flight aired on the USA cable network. I don't think it was over-the-air. There was "Friday Night Videos" on NBC, but that aired after MTV started.

Dan, as I recall, Night Flight was on NBC late on Fridays. I remember seeing it there and we didn't have cable at the time. It was one of my first first exposures to video. A side question, didn't David Bowie do some videos in the '70's?
 

BeansandCod

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It's interesting... other than Midnight Special I can't recall there being any outlets for videos in the ' 70s. But then, I still had a rather early bedtime then......;)

Some of the cheesy videos of the performer on a stage must have come from the MIke Douglas/ Merv Griffin type shows when the song was just played and the singer lip-synched. I keep thinking of the guy with the super-big afro singing "Season in the Sun". :-c

I have recently become a devotée of The Tube, and have been able to see some great videos from the pre-MTV era. Most of it clearly was live concert footage, or montages of images interlaced with the band's members - thinking later Beatles stuff when George was going through his Eastern phase. The Tube finds some rather eclectic and offbeat stuff, but they do surprise me.
 
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