Do you remember the first time you heard that song? The song that changed your life forever? We all have that one song that sparks a memory for us, even if we haven’t heard it in years. No matter the song, genre or time period, you have your song. Throughout modern music history, there have been instances that have changed our memories and perception of music, and society as we know it. To highlight some of them, here are five iconic music moments that changed history.
The Beatles appear on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” February 9, 1964
Boy bands have always existed and The Beatles were no exception. When the Fab Four hit the stage of the Ed Sullivan Show, it forever became a music moment that stuck in the minds of millions of Americans–73 million people to be exact.
Teenage girls both in the audience and at home swooned over the playing of “All My Lovin’” and little did they know, they were creating music and TV history.
Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, Aug. 18, 1969
Credited as the precursor to modern music festivals, Woodstock dominated the music and cultural scene in the 1960s. In an America split in two with challenging viewpoints of race, religion, and sex, there was a great divide between the Baby Boomers and their parents.
When Jimi Hendrix was slated to be the closer for the music festival it represented all of those feelings: patriotism, protest, and hope. At the end of his set, the legendary guitarist transitioned into a melody of the “Star-Spangled Banner” which would historically be a defining moment of the music festival.
The Birth of MTV, August 1, 1981
Video may have killed the radio star, but it brought stardom to some of the music industry’s finest. When MTV first aired, the music video pool was rather shallow, so clips were played often. And since cable was not yet prominent, not too many homes were tuning it.
But the network grew as did the pool of stars such as Madonna and Duran Duran. As time progressed, the network was bought out, and programming became segmented by genre and turned the focus to youth culture.
Michael Jackson Performs The “Moonwalk,” May 16, 1983
Dance culture and music history were made when Michael Jackson wowed viewed with his solo performance on “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.” It was during that performance in which Jackson performed his famous moonwalk. While it became an iconic moment, it was rather brief, only lasting two and a half seconds.
While the day it occurred was not when most impacts were felt, but rather the moonwalk grew in popularity over time.
Parental Advisory labels, 1984
Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” performance at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards sparked great controversy for her seductive performance and the erotic lyrics of the song. So much so, that it got the attention of Tipper Gore, then-wife of former vice president Al Gore.
Tipper Gore formed a board with other concerned and bewildered parents who wanted to protect their children from such lewd content.
Our world is bigger and the music scene is only getting larger and more diverse. Luckily, the opportunities to celebrate the music of the past and present while excitedly anticipating the future are all around us.
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