MTV had a huge impact on rock music in the 80s culturally, and the VJs were a big part of what shaped that phenomena. Those who were lucky enough to experience MTV at its launch practically worshipped these people and the contributions they made impacted fans in a big way. Now, there’s a petition going around demanding that the five original MTV VJs be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I grew up with MTV in the 90s with fond memories of Matt Pinfield and Kennedy… but that’s not who we’re talking about. This is for the original 5 VJs who many Gen Xers grew up watching: Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn, and J. J. Jackson. So even if you don’t remember them, keep in mind, this was the very early ’80s, and they were the very first hosts of the nation’s first music television network. They provided a link between fans and artists with an in-depth and up-close perspective on the most popular rock and pop music at a time when there was no internet, and very little access to music visually.
You may be saying to yourself “but VJs are not musicians…” While this statement is true, the petition notes that “both Alan Freed (the DJ who first used the phrase “rock and roll” in relation to a music genre) and Dick Clark (host of American Bandstand from 1957 to 1988) have been inducted . . . as non-performers.” Looking at the list of non-performers inducted, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be inducted. Furthermore… how is Howard Stern not already inducted? He’s Howard freakin’ Stern! (Maybe I need to start up a separate petition…)
If you want to sign the petition, you can find it on Change.org. This was started by a fan, and there’s no way of knowing if the Rock Hall will respond to it, or if they will even address it. Depending on viral it goes, they just might consider it… let’s find out!