The YouTube Files – Club MTV.

Club MTV (MTV, 1987-1992)

This is another example of a show that I discovered on YouTube, whilst trying to find something else. Club MTV is a show that was made at the rather happening Palladium nightclub in New York. The first thing I noticed about this show was that the host had an English accent. And it seems that Downtown Julie Brown had been a host on British TV for a few years before going off to America.

She was a member of Top Of The Pops dance troupe Zoo, along with being one of the hostesses on some of the later editions of CBBC’s Crackerjack (“CRACKERJACK“). And she also hosted TV-am’s Saturday Morning show for younger viewers Are You Awake Yet? (or AYAY as this became known to the hardcore fans), which along with Data Run was one of the predecessors of The Wide Awake Club, and was co-hosted by a puppet who looked like Ed Sheeran apparently.

Club MTV mostly consisted of what appeared to be the sultriest teenagers around doing a dance to all of the latest hits. The reasons that I enjoyed this are because I liked a lot of the music featured, and this reminded me of how editions of Top Of The Pops in the early-80s would end (and it’s proof that people can still have a good time even if the singer isn’t actually there in person). There were also plenty of flashing lights, along with screens that had the videos shown on them as the crowd went crazy.

There would also be regular dancers at the club, who would tell us what their favourite songs of the moment were. A lot of British acts were featured too (during the second, or was it third British invasion?), including Bananarama, Swing Out Sister, and perhaps more unexpectedly, Siouxsie And The Banshees, and Squeeze. Sometimes acts would perform live at the club, and to have had the opportunity of seeing acts like Salt-N-Pepa or Deee-Lite doing their thing, it must’ve been great.

Suddenly the long-running American Bandstand looked rather old-fashioned by comparison, and couldn’t compete. Other memorable moments (from what I’ve seen so far) include a performance from Nia Peeples, who hosted the short-lived American version of Top Of The Pops, and rather oddly, there were two VJs on MTV called Julie Brown at the time, with one performing her song, and then being interviewed by the other, but the world didn’t fold in on itself.

There was also a special edition with formal dress, so it was bowties time, along with some best-ofs. However, because of changes in musical tastes, after five years and over 1,200 editions, Julie said her catchphrase “wubba wubba wubba” for the final time, and Club MTV was replaced by the similar The Grind. Some editions were later repeated on VH1 Classic though.


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