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    What was the first music video ever made?
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    MTV tells us it was "Video Killed the Radio Star" in the 80s

    History tells us, however, that there were music videos being made as early as the 1960s.

    Here are two of the earliest music videos I've seen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3JoBwIXcwA

    and my personal favourite

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V03f74P4_o

    For some reason, Elvis, the Beatles, Sinatra and all the other big stars of that era never embraced the idea.


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    Vacuum Tube Member Paul Hudson's Avatar
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    Video Killed the Radio Star was the first video played on MTV. As far as the first music video made, it depends on the definition of Music Video. There are very early films of Leadbelly playing and singing. These are owned by Smithsonian Folkways Records. The Moody Blues did some early concepts videos, and isn't the Beatles "Help" just a very good collection of music videos?
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    By today standards, almost anything could be called a music video as long as it has the single playing in the background. But in the more traditional sense, I guess music videos are built around a "concept" or an "idea" and present it in a very elaborate and theatrical way. That's why I was surprised to find the Neil Sedaka video (and the other one) on youtube. You may have noticed Sedaka wears several outfits throught the video, so no, this wasn't a "performance" video. There were plenty of those in the Ed Sullivan era.


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    Cinematography/Lighting Mod Ryan Patrick O'Hara's Avatar
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    I'd assume that sometime around 1929, when sound and film were married, someone had the idea to record a musician... and since film probably had limited magazine capacity, I bet a couple of 'singles' were shot, and played back in theaters.

    If you are asking when people started getting experimental or 'conceptual' with music videos, which you could argue is still not mastered to this day (so many horrible modern performance videos), I'd imagine someone was doing it in the first half of the 20th century.



    An early(ish) and cool video, off the top of my head, is the 1967 Procol harum 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'... which btw is my favorite song ever written... ever. Chillingly beautiful.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb3iPP-tHdA
    And it's about getting drunk on a ship. :P
    Last edited by Ryan Patrick O'Hara; 12-28-2009 at 10:04 AM.

    If cinematography wasn't infinite, I'm sure I would have found the end by now.


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    Quote Originally Posted by EDV View Post
    MTV tells us it was "Video Killed the Radio Star" in the 80s

    History tells us, however, that there were music videos being made as early as the 1960s.

    Here are two of the earliest music videos I've seen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3JoBwIXcwA

    and my personal favourite

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V03f74P4_o

    For some reason, Elvis, the Beatles, Sinatra and all the other big stars of that era never embraced the idea.

    Elvis and The Beatles did 'musicals', as well as TV variety show performances. The 'music video' as we now know it, really wasn't something that was viable in that era. Theaters had pretty much discontinued the practice of a newsreel/cartoon in front of the main attraction, which would have been the spot for placing a 'music short', and TV other than perhaps something like American Bandstand which catered to the 'youth' music market, had variety shows(*), but by the end of the 60's those had pretty much disappeared. (*Maybe there's an idea... some modern group doing a Lawrence Welk shtick... bubbles and all...)

    There were also a few singing segments on some of the TV 'family' shows, like "Ozzie and Harriet" where the young Ricky Nelson got exposure. Same for some of the 70's shows.

    As I recall, The Doors did some number of videos/musical shorts, but there was effectively no real venue to play them... definitely there was no great number of 16mm transfers to show The Doors at church socials...


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    Cinematography/Lighting Mod Ryan Patrick O'Hara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j1clark@ucsd.edu View Post

    As I recall, The Doors did some number of videos/musical shorts, but there was effectively no real venue to play them... definitely there was no great number of 16mm transfers to show The Doors at church socials...
    Maybe this is because Jim Morrison, I believe, earned his undergraduate degree from the UCLA School of Film.

    If cinematography wasn't infinite, I'm sure I would have found the end by now.


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    the Beatles Hard Day's night 1964 contained the first widely distributed progenitors of the modern music video

    the Beatles went on to produce a dozen or more "promotional films" for their hits in the mid-sixties for Ready Staeady Go and Top of the Pops
    Last edited by pwyll; 12-28-2009 at 02:39 PM.


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    Dark Side of the Camera Postmaster's Avatar
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    Soundies were an early version of the music video: three-minute musical films, produced in New York, Chicago, and Hollywood between 1940 and 1946, often including short dance sequences. The films were displayed on the Panoram, a coin-operated film jukebox or machine music, in nightclubs, bars, restaurants, factory lounges, and amusement centers.



    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeSlF2VDck8


    Walt Disney even made a Soundie for Benny Goodmann "All the Cats Join In" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IFBJ7cHe1s


    Frank
    Last edited by Postmaster; 12-28-2009 at 03:31 PM.
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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Guys, if you want to get technical, I shot a TCM documentary called, "The Dawn of Sound: How The Movies Learned to Talk". We spent some time at the Case Museum in Auburn NY. I shot some footage of the actual stage in the barn where Theodore Case filmed Gus Visser and His Singing Duck in 1925, you should see this film, it's a hoot. Not only did inventor Case film sound talkies of Visser but he also filmed quite a few other Vaudeville singers and musicians between 1921 and 1925. These can undeniably be considered the first music videos since they are some of the first sound films serving as predecessors of Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer", released in 1927, generally acknowledged as the first studio sound feature length film.

    If you want to learn more about this, there is some good information here http://wapedia.mobi/en/Theodore_Case...s_Singing_Duck but the real story is contained in the TCM doc, which is available on the special edition DVD of The Jazz Singer. It's a pretty epic story with a lot of backstabbing, dirty pool and competition between the inventors and promoters of the earliest sound films. It was also one of the most interesting documentaries I have ever shot.

    To me, in a literal sense, musical films (this is decades before "video") were the primary reason why the talkies were even conceived, nobody cared much about hearing dialogue since the silents had so effectively conditioned audiences to title cards. But you still couldn't hear the Sarah Bernhardts and Sophie Tuckers of the day in film without sound.

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    Admin Luis Caffesse's Avatar
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    How about around 1894-95?
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