The Television was commercially available since the late 1930s. During the 50s, American variety shows such as Stage Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and Texaco Star Theatre aired live musicians. Stage Show was a CBS network music variety program, and featured Elvis Presley’s first national television appearances in the
In 1964 the BBC began running the show Top of the Pops, which featured mimed performances by the top selling artists of the time with the studio orchestra. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones featured on the early shows. Where a live act was not possible, the act was replaced by groups of dancers.
Miming created some controversy among the musicians. Many were unable to recreate the sound of their recordings, either because they did not have the equipment or they lacked the skills. Miming was banned by the Musicians Union in 1966, but musicians allowed using a recorded backing track to sing along to. The studio orchestra was dropped after a musicians strike and the show reverted to playing pre-recorded tracks only. Some bands refused to play their music in this way and others deliberately abused the setup to make a point. Noel and Liam Gallagher from Oasis switched parts for the song Roll with it, with Noel pretending he was singing Liam’s part and Liam pretending to play guitar. Michael Stipe of R.E.M used a megaphone to cover his lips to hide the trouble he was having miming the lyrics.
In 1981, during this time, MTV was launched in
Today, MTV devotes only a portion of the day’s programming to playing music videos. The
Similar show concepts include Video Jukebox from HBO, Rage in
Because of TOTP problems with reproducing recorded artists, and to make airtime for shows played overseas in
However, the trend of live performances continued through the 1970s and is still present today. Frank Zappa performed “I am the Slime” on Saturday Night Live in 1976. The Who played on TOTP in 1972. Television shows today such as Rove Live, Rockwiz, The David Letterman Show, and Spicks and Specks all feature live performances by artists, though mostly non-mainstream. For instance, the death metal band Uncle Chunk performed on Spicks and Specks.
Palmer, Robert – Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History, BBC Books
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1k8GKXlDEo – Frank Zappa performs I am the Slime on Saturday Night Live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwdCxmk0l6g -Uncle Chunk perform on Spicks and Specks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mtv#Moral_influence_and_controversies – the influences of MTV