A TV Birthday Party

Gil Scott HeronSeventy-nine years ago Sunday, the first TV license ever was granted to the Charles Francis Jenkins Laboratories. Even though there wasn’t much to watch at the outset, and despite early skepticism about the medium (described in the New York Times as “an inventor’s will-o’-the-wisp”), the exotic tech toy seems to have nonetheless caught on quite nicely. Here is a set of (not entirely happy) birthday songs for the telly:

  • 1978: The Misfits — TV Casualty
  • 1979: The Tubes — TV is King
  • 1980: Genesis — Turn It On Again
  • 1981: Black Flag — TV Party
  • 1985: Dire Straits — Money for Nothing
  • 1985: “Weird Al” Yankovic — Cable TV
  • 1990: Bob Dylan — TV Talkin’ Song
  • 1992: Bruce Springsteen — 57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)
  • 1992: Roger Waters — Amused to Death
  • 2005: Wilco — Kicking Television

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