MTV Didn’t Play Black Artists Because of Poughkeepsie?
The world lost a true legend when David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 earlier this week. Tributes have been surfacing since, as are many of his classic interviews. In 1983, Bowie famously put MTV on the spot for a lack of diversity, while the flustered host mentions a certain Hudson Valley city in response.
Mark Goodman was one of the original MTV VJs and if he thought he was in for an easy interview with Bowie, he was dead wrong. Bowie questions Goodman as to why there are a lack of music videos from black artists on the channel. Goodman (and his really awesome hair) attempts to explain to Bowie what they are try to do on and Bowie's not buying it. You can watch the interview below.
Bowie: "There seem to be a lot of black artists making very good videos that I'm surprised aren't being used on MTV."
Goodman: "We have to try and do what we think not only New York and Los Angeles will appreciate, but Poughkeepsie or the Midwest. Pick some town in the Midwest which would be scared to death by... a string of other black faces or black music. We have to play music we think an entire country is going to like, and certainly we're a rock and roll station."
Bowie: "Don't you think it's a frightening predicament to be in?"
Goodman: "Yeah, but no less here than in radio."
Bowie: "Don't say, 'Well, it's not me, it's them.' Is it not possible it should be a conviction of the station and of the radio stations to be fair. To make the media more integrated?"
So basically, Bowie is saying, "quiet with the excuses, let's see some action here, MTV." Also, Goodman states MTV is a rock station, which is mind blowing because in the later days it was merely a pop music factory.
Bowie was a local resident for many years, having purchased a home in Ulster County in 2001. Here's a look at several other top Hudson Valley celebrities.