Although there was a blues revival in the early 1980s, blues music was not really featured prominently on MTV, a trend that continues to this day. Few blues artists made music video clips, and even fewer of these were actually played on MTV. Having said that, a few artists managed to get their videos on rotation in the early days of MTV; three of these artists are featured on the latest edition of Señor Blues (June 5).
Johnny Winter – “Don’t Take Advantage Of Me”
I was previously unaware that Johnny Winter was actually involved with MTV at one time. However, upon reading his recent biography (Raisin' Cain), I found out that he did in fact produce a music video for this track off of his Alligator Records debut, Guitar Slinger, which received a fair amount of rotation on MTV in 1984. I was unable to locate the music video for this song, but you can hear the song itself on the program; for more information about the video itself, check out Winter’s biography.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – “Cold Shot” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2ou-WIxfLY)
As one of the most popular blues artists that emerged in the 1980s, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble made several music videos. However, “Cold Shot” is a real gem! I had never previously seen SRV’s comedic side and I couldn’t stop laughing once I saw this video…it’s hilarious!
Robert Cray – “Right Next Door (Because of Me)” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP2EvSNHqh0)
Robert Cray was another major blues artist who emerged in the 1980s and Strong Persuader was a major breakthrough album for him. One of the music videos produced from this record was for “Right Next Door (Because of Me)”. The video is fittingly moody and tense, in keeping with the sombre tone of the song. At times, the video borders on cheesy…but what music video doesn't (then or now)?
It's easy to see why these videos were not played as much as the trendier or higher-budget videos for, say, "Hungry Like The Wolf" or "Every Breath You Take", but taken on their own merits, they are entertaining music videos to see and hear.