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Can we talk about music TV channels?

One of the things I liked watching on TV as a kid whenever I was at other people’s houses is music channels. My earliest coherent memory of seeing something on a music channel was when I was 6, and it was something on MTV. I never heard of any of that stuff, since this was cable, and all I had at home was network TV.

A few years and a move later, I remember seeing CMT on at a neighbor kid’s house. Their aunt was watching it, and so was I as we were playing Barbies in the living room. I heard the intro to a song I heard on the radio on the way to school, and it was stuck in my head literally the whole day.

The song? Baby Likes to Rock It, by none other than The Tractors.

I watched the music video, and I thought it was just the coolest. The Tractors was such an underrated band, imo.

After that, if I was at someone else’s house and they let me pick the channel, I’d pick CMT. There was another country music channel, TNN, but I have very few, if any coherent memories about that one, haha.

When I was in middle school, a new channel came to our broadcast market on network TV. It was the greatness known as The Box Music Network. At the time, I couldn’t move the antenna enough to get a clear picture of it, and didn’t know why. I learned later on that this was actually something the network themselves did to give it that bootleg aesthetic. Idk why, but I love it! Mostly they’d play the clips from the hit songs of the day when they didn’t get any requests, along with a countdown of the most popular videos, but occasionally we’d get a music video. It’s how I learned of the more obscure pop and R&B artists, at least within my neck of the woods. This was also when Shania Twain had some hits in the pop music world, and as such, they’d play her videos too.

The Box Music Network ended its’ run in 2001, having been bought out by MTV, which got repackaged as MTV 2. It was the one that actually lived up to its’ name instead of weird af reality shows. When my family got cable, I’d watch it once in a blue moon, before I gave up on it and TV altogether in favor of whatever I found online.

I wonder how a music channel like The Box Music Network would hold up today, 20 years later.

For a long time after that, the network TV market went without a music channel. Until The Country Network came onto the scene, that is. Up until very recently, they were in my broadcast market on a channel that I managed to pick up on the antenna exactly one time. That was it.

They then moved to one of the low-power frequencies in town, once occupied by Biz TV. It seems as though it’s left our market, but then again, it wasn’t even listed on the TV Guide app, either. That channel, I only watched for the Rockstar Movies segment, where they show super-obscure movies from decades ago, or those considered classics or cult favorites. The last one that aired before The Country Network took its’ place was Grease 2. I only saw like 10 minutes of it, and tbh, I wasn’t really wowed.

But back to music TV channels. The Country Network reminds me of The Box, in a way. They have their music countdowns and programming blocks in a similar style, but they don’t take requests outside of musicians submitting their own work. I love how they air work from lesser-known artists, as well as the big names.

Over to you, readers. What’s your favorite music TV channel? Recently learn about a new singer you hadn’t heard of? Share it below, and let’s get it started in here.

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