With those words played over footage of the Apollo 11 launch, MTV took to the air a minute after midnight on August 1, 1981. The first video was, appropriately, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR")TINA CHARLES: (Singing) Video killed the radio star. Video killed the radio star.TREVOR HORN: (Singing) Pictures came and broke your heart.SULLIVAN: Not too many people were watching that day. The fledgling channel was only carried on a few cable stations. But MTV soon became a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, which is sometimes hard to remember in the current age of "Jersey Shore" and "My Supersweet 16." Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum are the authors of "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution." And they join me now from our New York studios. Welcome to the program, guys.CRAIG MARKS: Thanks, Laura.ROB TANNENBAUM: Thank you.SULLIVAN: Rob, when they first started in 1981, there were some music videos, but there weren't a lot of them, and they really weren't being playedanywhere. I mean, where did the first MTV executive think they were going to get all of this content to put on a 24-hour a day music channel?TANNENBAUM: Well, record companies and bands had been making music videos for 20 years or so. They weren't called music videos. And, in fact, if you had said to someone in 1981, do you want to watch a music video, the person would've said, I don't know what you're talking about, because the phrase didn't actually exist.The record companies had these things mostly sitting on the shelves gathering dust. If a band put out a new song and they didn't want to go all the way to Australia to promote it, they would send the video. But no one had thought, before MTV, to package these all together, to play them consecutively. And, in fact, the record companies, when they heard the idea of MTV, almost universally said, that'll never work.SULLIVAN: You took the title of your book from a famous ad campaign that MTV used to get local cable networks to - just to carry them. Tell me about that.
MARKS: There was a moment in MTV's early life where things weren't going very well. They couldn't get enough ads. And the reason they couldn't get enough ads was because they didn't have enough distribution. You couldn't even see MTV in New York City for the first year or L.A. And the