The Now Explosion was an early attempt—ten years before MTV—to make a music video network. The programming on The Now Explosion consisted mostly of professionally produced music videos of the era, but they also generated dozens of hours of homegrown music videos featuring lip-sync and amateur performers slathered with tons of primitive special effects (and this was 25 years before YouTube!).
The “Now Explosion” first aired in Atlanta on Channel 36 in 1970. It was a Top 40 music program which, along with airing the current songs of the day, showed images to go with the music, all to the patter of an unseen DJ. Images came from promotional films and videotapes from the bands’ management, but the show’s producer, Bob Whitney, also created in-studio and on-location film and tape images to play with the songs. He created psychedelic visual effects over the images, producing rapid zooms, shapes morphing on top of images, multiple colors and images. The show is a very good depiction of the music, cultural imagery, and clothing styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Not much survives from The Now Explosion, although many hours were recently preserved by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection in Georgia.
The Now Explosion website
An interview with Atlanta reporter, Miriam Longino, about her efforts to uncover the history of The Now Explosion