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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Love the . . . VH1

If there's a show in the vein of VH1's I Love the '80s and I Love the '90s I'd really like to see, it's I Love VH1. Allow me to explain.

VH1's programming was originally something like MTV's oldest sibling. Playing more R&B and smooth jazz artists as well as other adult Top 40 acts, you weren't going to find any hair metal, grunge or even rap on the channel. You had My Generation with Peter Noone (and later, David Cassidy), along with 8-Track Flashback, playing performance clips from the Sixties and Seventies. You had Rosie O'Donnell hosting a stand-up comedy show. Repeats of Midnight Special and American Bandstand were also on there, as well as hour-long concerts from people like Neil Young. In other words, this programming was vastly removed compared to what they've had on the channel since Behind the Music debuted.

For me, a music nut who frequently watched TV growing up, I would almost always switch to VH1 if I didn't like what I was seeing on MTV (and vice-versa). Both channels were next to each other in the channel line-up, so it was an easy switch. I especially remember when the show Crossroads was on. Featuring the Jayhawks' tune "Blue" as its theme song, there was a sense that alt-country could really break big with an audience. It was on this show that I first heard of Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, and Wilco, as well as Hootie & the Blowfish and Blues Traveler. Though Hootie and John Popper's band sold more records in the day, Uncle Tupelo's offspring won the long haul race in my book.

But it seems remembering this time is like a fuzzy blur. Seeing how VH1's programming has been dominated by pop culture nostalgia for quite some time, I wonder if they would ever take a swipe at their own history. I'd totally watch this.

2 comments:

Py Korry said...

I had a tough time with VH1 when they first launched. But in the mid 90s I started watching more and more because MTV stopped playing videos. I'm not even sure why MTV and VH1 use the banding they do. MTV stands for "Music Television" and VH1 stands for "Video Hits One" but do you see any videos or much music related programming?

Random Kath said...

I second Py's statements - I watched more VH-1 as MTV started down the path to only playing videos at 3 AM - if you're lucky. Now, I only watch VH-1 for the Video Countdowns on Saturday mornings (since MTV doesn't even bother to replay TRL anymore) and the odd "I love the . . ." - which you can only watch the same one once or twice before you get it. I miss having those choices of old-school-type videos and younger stuff.