The birth of the music TV. Show can be dated as far back as Ready Steady Go, which famously featured an edition consisting entirely of Motown artists perhaps the first time black artists were welcomed to perform to enormous numbers during prime time slots. Changing and adapting to culture tastes as well as social progress it has seen various forms over the decades. Staying within the realms of British television it would be impossible to ignore the relevance of Top of the Pops. The first show aired on 1st January 1964 and featured Dusty Springfield, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. It set the benchmark for music on television and as well as other programmes in the U.S ultimately contributed for the need for what we now know as MTV. At it’s height an appearance on Top of the Pops cemented recognition by the national mass music media. Although often slated for its audience sensibilities this meant that artists who were fortunate enough to be given the chance to prove their three minutes worth were catapulted out of previous small boxes such as Manchester House, Midlands Industrial punk or perhaps South London Grime. However viewing figures began to plummet rapidly and by 11 July 2005 the iconic Led Zeppelin sound tracked opening credits ran for the last time episode 2,166.Although smaller in broadcast stint many view The Tube as a much more musically progressive. Musicians who perhaps weren’t so keen on adhering to heavily studio choreographed and figure conscious Top of the Pops appeared on The Tube recognizing the importance of television as a medium to gain wider exposure. Including Robert Plant, Bo Diddley and Frankie goes to Hollywood. More like a visual magazine it featured interviews, fashion pieces and even comedy sketches that held together a tightly knit alternative response to predecessors. However the show suffered greatly from awkward scheduling due to being broadcast at ‘tea time’ but featuring content which aimed to be cutting edge and controversial when needed was inevitably toned down to suit the after school audiences. The Tube saw its exits when Jools Holland swore during children viewing peak. Which of course leads onto Later with Jools Holland which was derived from another programme called ‘The Late Show’ hence ‘later’. It is usually filmed on tuesday and aired on friday nights. Weekly welcoming a wealth of new and veteran artists ranging from Amy Winehouse to Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Theres alot to be considered concerning the death of the popular music tv show, many have unsucessfully come and gone over the years including more recently Pop World to further back The O Zone. The internet is of course a main factor in it’s demise, the way in which people consume music has changed drastically over the past five years. Music tv shows tend to concentrate on the national top 20, people are simply not as dictated by this as before rarely even knowing the weekly number one.