The original MTV (Music Television) launched on August 1, 1981 playing music videos 24 hours a day. The channel’s very first video was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. Ironically, that very same network dropped “music television” and almost all of the videos in 2010 but radio still lives on.
Still, the whole of idea of watching a song play had an incredible effect on the music industry and is still used widely even though less people are watching. It didn’t take long for the Christian recording industry to catch on to the trend and started to produce their own videos, some of which actually ended on MTV as well.
I thought it might be fun to do a piece on five popular Christian music icons that not only produced videos in the 80’s but are still making them. Sort of a “whatever happened to…” multi-media article. Let me know what you think!
Grant made her debut in 1978 with her first self-titled album which featured her breakout song, “Old Man’s Rubble.” It also featured the silly, “Grape, Grape Joy,” but then again, she was just 16 at the time. In the spring of ’79, Grant released her second album; My Father’s Eyes and met her future husband, Gary Chapman. 1982 was a big year for Grant. She got married, and released her fourth studio album, Age to Age, where the song, “El Shaddai” helped her to win her first Grammy as well as two GMA Dove Awards. Age to Age was certified gold (first for a solo Christian artist). It was certified platinum two years later.
Amy Grant after:
A lot has changed for Grant since ’85. She ruffled feathers of the flock in ’99 with her divorce from Chapman and then remarried the next year to Vince Gill. Over the years, she has seen her share of critics complaining about everything from why she didn’t preach enough during her concerts to even the quality of her voice. Through it all, Grant has remained firm in her convictions and her critics have quieted down some. Today she is reveling with her latest release, How Mercy Looks from Here, which features music by artists not normally associated with Christian themes including, James Taylor, Carole King, Sheryl Crow and others. It has received high marks from both Christian and secular music critics alike. Here is a video that features Grant on the Katie Couric Show singing her title track:
Sam Phillips after:
Classic Petra after: