CLEVELAND — There was a time when MTV was truly 'Music Television.'
Before Catfish, or Teen Mom, or Ridiculousness, there were simply music videos. All day, all night.
When I was growing up in the 1980s, MTV was appointment viewing. There was nothing like seeing cheesy videos, big hair, and even bigger personalities.
And holding it all down were five personalities, Alan Hunter, J.J. Jackson, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, and Martha Quinn. They were dubbed as MTV's VJs, introducing the videos, interviewing musicians, and helping to change the face of rock and pop culture forever.
There's a petition circulating now on Change.org that is calling for the five original VJs to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, it had nearly 4,000 signatures with the goal of getting to 5,000.
"MTV was an integral part of ‘80s culture. No one embodies the impact of MTV on rock music as much as Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn and J. J. Jackson," writes petitioner Matt Guido.
"Both Alan Freed, and Dick Clark have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as non-performers. No one can dispute their impact on the Rock & Roll landscape. But just as Alan Freed changed the music industry in the 1950s and Dick Clark in the 1960s and 1970s, so too did the original 5 VJs on MTV in the 1980s. They created the soundtrack to a generation of music fans and have been cultural icons for nearly 40 years.
To date, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is yet to acknowledge the impact of these 5 extraordinary individuals. It is time the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame right this injustice and acknowledge MTV’s impact on Rock & Roll.
I am calling for Mark, Alan, Nina, Martha and J. J. to be inducted into the Rock Hall. Their time has come."
So what do you think? I believe Mr. Guido is on to something here.
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Four of the original five MTV VJs (Jackson passed away in 2004) were at the Rock Hall last fall to help open the “Stay Tuned: Rock on TV” exhibit. Here's hoping the group will someday be a permanent fixture here in Cleveland.