As I was watching the halftime show of the Super Bowl, I couldn’t help but think about how much Bruno Mars reminded me of Kool & The Gang. I tweeted about it, and then ended up tweeting out a few of my favorite Kool & The Gang videos.
Every time I fall down the YouTube rabbit hole of old music videos, I’m reminded of how big a role music has played in my life, and how music videos used to take up most of my television watching time. I really feel bad for those who did not grow up in that era, as it was an amazing time to be a music fan.
My own love of music, specifically ‘80s music, really started back in my rollerskating days. We had a great roller rink in my hometown of Enfield, CT called Enfield Roller World, and just about every Friday night of my formative years was spent roller skating with my friends. We were exposed to dance, rock, pop and hip hop, and I loved all of it. When I wasn’t roller skating, I was listening to music on the radio. As early as I can remember, it provided the soundtrack of my life.
My love of music videos began with Friday Night Videos, a program that aired late nights on NBC starting back in 1983. My family didn't have cable at the time, so Friday Night Videos was my entry into the world of music videos. My friends and I would tape the episodes and watch them over and over again, and some of the roots of my love for all ‘80s music can be traced back to Friday Night Videos.
Of course, when I got cable and MTV, the arrival of Headbanger’s Ball in 1987 changed my music-loving life forever. I was already a metalhead, but that show put me and my best friend over the edge. Not only did we stay up watching the episodes that aired on midnight Saturday nights, we taped every single one and watched them until the VHS tapes wore out.
A year later, the Doctor Dre and Ed Lover-hosted Yo! MTV Raps brought me back in touch with my love of hip hop, which had faded since my days breakdancing with my friends in my old neighborhood (the lessons for which I took at Enfield Roller World, by the way). Much like Headbanger’s Ball did, Yo! MTV Raps exposed me to tons of artists I didn’t even know existed.
Nowadays, shows like That Metal Show and channels like VH1 Classic still keep the spirit of those old shows alive, but we will never again see the culture of music videos that we had back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.
So, I’m going to do my little part to keep the spirit of those days alive as well, starting next week with Sunday Night Videos. Every Sunday Night from 8PM EST to 9PM EST, I’ll be tweeting out links to classic videos from some of my ‘80s and ‘90s favorites. One artist per week, and five videos per episode. I’ll also be tweeting out facts about the artists and some of my experiences with the ones I’ve seen in convert, and even met (and there are a few). I’ll be using the hashtag #SundayNightVideos, and I’ve even bought the domain so I can set up a blog with links to each episode's videos.
As a lifelong music fan who grew up as part of the music video generation, I’m really excited to begin revisiting some of the best videos from that era.
If you’ve got a band or artist you want to see on Sunday Night Videos, let me know and I’ll start a request list. You can hit me up on twitter.com/seebrianwrite, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next Sunday Night!