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Old 02-06-2017, 02:46 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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Video Killed the Radio Star. Any real life examples?

Buggles - Video killed the radio star (1979)

The title sums it up. Are there any examples of someone not surviving the transition of radio to television or movies? Surely there was someone with an amazing voice and a face that would stop a clock.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:53 PM
nightshadea nightshadea is offline
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actually there are reverse examples in the movies ... clara bow for example was considered ne of the greatest and most beautiful actress of the tweens and 20s

Then sound came to movies and they found out she had the voice and speech pattrens of a Brooklyn truck driver .......... but theres tons of others along the same pattern

Last edited by nightshadea; 02-06-2017 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:58 PM
Cardigan Cardigan is offline
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One example comes to mind. For years the character Matt Dillon was portrayed on radio by William Conrad. When "Gunsmoke" moved to television there was no way audiences were going to buy the marshal being a big hefty dude, and the rugged looking James Arness ended up being cast in the role instead.

William Conrad went on to play a number of other well known roles on television, but video certainly killed that role for him.

Last edited by Cardigan; 02-06-2017 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:05 PM
Marlonius Marlonius is offline
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I'm going to go with my standby, Christopher Cross.

He had a smooth voice and catchy tunes. He also had a receding hairline, sweatstained armpits and paunchy belly. He didn't survive MTV.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:11 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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Originally Posted by Projammer View Post
Surely there was someone with an amazing voice and a face that would stop a clock.
I'd nominate Sinead Lohan and Shawn Mullins.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:15 PM
JcWoman JcWoman is offline
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I submit H. Jon Benjamin who is the voice actor portraying Sterling Archer in the very adult animated tv series Archer. He's not terrible looking, just not at all what you visualize when you hear his voice.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:18 PM
Shoeless Shoeless is offline
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Didn't the Car Talk brothers try to do a TV show that failed miserably? They always did say they had faces made for radio.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Marlonius View Post
I'm going to go with my standby, Christopher Cross.

He had a smooth voice and catchy tunes. He also had a receding hairline, sweatstained armpits and paunchy belly. He didn't survive MTV.
My standby is Donnie Iris, who didn't have that MTV "look" either.

And I think both Billy Squier and Phil Collins have groused about video killing their radio stardom. (For Squier it was one video in particular.)
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:32 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Todd Rundgren did a duet with Bonnie Tyler on a song called Loving You's A Dirty Job, and the video stars her - and some other guy lip-syncing his part.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:19 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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Karla DeVito replacing Ellen Foley comes to mind.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:21 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
One example comes to mind. For years the character Matt Dillon was portrayed on radio by William Conrad. When "Gunsmoke" moved to television there was no way audiences were going to buy the marshal being a big hefty dude, and the rugged looking James Arness ended up being cast in the role instead.

William Conrad went on to play a number of other well known roles on television, but video certainly killed that role for him.
Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll are another example of radio actors who didn't get to play the same characters on TV because they didn't look the part.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:26 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Originally Posted by Marlonius View Post
I'm going to go with my standby, Christopher Cross.

He had a smooth voice and catchy tunes. He also had a receding hairline, sweatstained armpits and paunchy belly. He didn't survive MTV.
When I started a similar topic 6 years ago, Cross was the example I used in my OP as well.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=618774
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:38 PM
Richard John Marcej Richard John Marcej is offline
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Originally Posted by Marlonius View Post
I'm going to go with my standby, Christopher Cross.

He had a smooth voice and catchy tunes. He also had a receding hairline, sweatstained armpits and paunchy belly. He didn't survive MTV.
Similar to Christopher Cross, while no way near as popular or famous, was the band Romeo Void who had small hit in 1982 with "Never Say Never". At the dawn of MTV their video couldn't get any airtime because of the "Rubenesque" look of lead singer Debora Iyall.

In a way, though it didn't kill their career, the extremely popular band, Heart, ran into a similar problem when lead singer Ann Wilson began gaining weight. Suddenly, sister Nancy was given much more screen time in Heart videos while Ann's images were blurred or skewed.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:16 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Milli Vanilli.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:20 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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N/M. Reading comprehension failed me.

Last edited by Trancephalic; 02-06-2017 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:27 PM
whitetho whitetho is offline
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Our Miss Brooks started as a radio show before it became a TV show. As it was making the transition, Eve Arden and the rest of the cast convinced Philip Boynton, who played Jeff Chandler, "the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections", that his future was in movies, not on the TV show. According to Arden, the reason they didn't want him to do the TV show was in real life Boynton was a big strapping guy who didn't visually fit the part.
  #17  
Old 02-06-2017, 06:41 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
actually there are reverse examples in the movies ... clara bow for example was considered ne of the greatest and most beautiful actress of the tweens and 20s

Then sound came to movies and they found out she had the voice and speech pattrens of a Brooklyn truck driver .......... but theres tons of others along the same pattern
I had totally overlooked the transition of silent movies to 'talkies', but this is certainly a valid addition to the query.

Quite a few more examples here than I expected in this short of a time as well.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:57 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej View Post
Similar to Christopher Cross, while no way near as popular or famous, was the band Romeo Void who had small hit in 1982 with "Never Say Never". At the dawn of MTV their video couldn't get any airtime because of the "Rubenesque" look of lead singer Debora Iyall.

In a way, though it didn't kill their career, the extremely popular band, Heart, ran into a similar problem when lead singer Ann Wilson began gaining weight. Suddenly, sister Nancy was given much more screen time in Heart videos while Ann's images were blurred or skewed.
The original Def Leppard was made up of 4 good looking guys and one who was, ahem, rather homely. He was always relegated to the background, and it wouldn't surprise me if that kind of thing contributed to his early death from alcoholism.

In this video, notice that the drummer is by far the best-looking member of the band - and guess who got the most face time and was put out in front for the video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQvDd66z47Y
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:08 PM
Southpaw Southpaw is offline
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Originally Posted by whitetho View Post
Our Miss Brooks started as a radio show before it became a TV show. As it was making the transition, Eve Arden and the rest of the cast convinced Philip Boynton, who played Jeff Chandler, "the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections", that his future was in movies, not on the TV show. According to Arden, the reason they didn't want him to do the TV show was in real life Boynton was a big strapping guy who didn't visually fit the part.
Nitpick: Jeff Chandler was the actor, Philip Boynton was the character.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:16 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Martha Wash (of "It's Rainin' Men" fame) sang on a number of dance hits for the groups Black Box and C+C Music Factory, but was not shown in their videos. They didn't just leave her out, they hired younger, sexier women to mouth her parts. She sued both groups and won.
  #21  
Old 02-06-2017, 09:58 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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The original Def Leppard was made up of 4 good looking guys and one who was, ahem, rather homely. He was always relegated to the background, and it wouldn't surprise me if that kind of thing contributed to his early death from alcoholism.
Steve Clark was not homely, in fact he was one of the better-looking members of the band. Unless you meant Pete Willis, who is still alive.

Supertramp was often cited as a band which was too photogenically challenged to make the jump from radio to video. Some may disagree, but there's probably a reason why their music videos only tangentially featured the band.
  #22  
Old 02-06-2017, 10:08 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Originally Posted by Marlonius View Post
I'm going to go with my standby, Christopher Cross.

He had a smooth voice and catchy tunes. He also had a receding hairline, sweatstained armpits and paunchy belly. He didn't survive MTV.
Yes, even his Wikipedia(not much of a cite, but still) lists the MTV-generation sinking his chances. His music and look was not in line with what MTV wanted.

Any fans of his? Did he maintain the quality level of his music or did he decline? I know no one who has his albums.
  #23  
Old 02-06-2017, 10:26 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
In this video, notice that the drummer is by far the best-looking member of the band - and guess who got the most face time and was put out in front for the video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQvDd66z47Y
Holy crap, it's Kelso!
  #24  
Old 02-06-2017, 10:35 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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My standby is Donnie Iris, who didn't have that MTV "look" either.

And I think both Billy Squier and Phil Collins have groused about video killing their radio stardom. (For Squier it was one video in particular.)
Whuh? Phil Collins appeared on a Rolling Stones cover unironically calling him 'sexy'.
  #25  
Old 02-06-2017, 10:44 PM
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The most obvious actor who couldn't make the transition to talkies was Raymond Griffith. In his heyday, he was one of the major names in silent comedy. His career ended with the talkies because he blew out his vocal chords as a child actor and could not speak above a hoarse whisper. He appeared in only one sound film (All Quiet on the Western Front), where he didn't have to speak any louder, then retired from acting.

John Gilbert is often cited as someone who couldn't handle the transition. He had been Greta Garbo's leading man, but his career collapsed with the coming of sound. However, Gilbert didn't have a particularly bad voice; the florid dialog in his first sound film was what had the audience laughing. Given that Louis B. Mayer took a dislike to him, and he had a drinking problem, his career never overcame that.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:56 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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I know it was said that Phoebe Snow was too ugly for videos. Of course, her musical style was also about as far away from MTV as you could get.
  #27  
Old 02-07-2017, 01:13 AM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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I wonder about radio acts such as Fred Allen and Fibber McGee and Molly. Allen apparently didn't like television and his attempts failed where other radio comedians such as Jack Benny, Burns & Allen and Groucho Marx lasted longer. The husband and wife team of Jim and Marian Jordan resisted tv, figuring they had a pretty good thing on radio so why change. When they finally tried one on the late 1950s, Marian was too sick so the show was almost entirely recast and "T'aint funny, McGee", it failed.

Bret Morrison lasted the longest, 10 years, on the radio show "The Shadow" but seems to have done little in tv or films. Wiki says he was a popular cabaret singer so maybe that's it. But at the same time he doesn't look very photogenic to me.
  #28  
Old 02-07-2017, 01:17 AM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll are another example of radio actors who didn't get to play the same characters on TV because they didn't look the part.
Although they did in the 1930 movie "Check and double check" by having them in blackface.
  #29  
Old 02-07-2017, 01:32 AM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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Kate Smith was a popular singer/ radio star and she tried making a movie "Hello Everybody ". Which turned out about as well as the movie starring Liberace and the one starring Luciano Pavarotti as a romantic lead (saw that one on an airplane). Kate was plain looking and a few pounds overweight.
  #30  
Old 02-07-2017, 02:28 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Kate Smith was a popular singer/ radio star and she tried making a movie "Hello Everybody ". Which turned out about as well as the movie starring Liberace and the one starring Luciano Pavarotti as a romantic lead (saw that one on an airplane). Kate was plain looking and a few pounds overweight.
Kate Smith didn't exactly shy away from TV in the '50s; in fact, she embraced it, and achieved a fair amount of popularity. But regarding her weight: Our TV back then had a switch that stretched out the image horizontally, supposedly to compensate for a different aspect ratio. When Kate Smith's show came on, we kids would flick the switch, making poor Kate look enormous.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:47 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Linda Ronstadt. MTV started just as her youthful babe-a-liciousness started to fade.
  #32  
Old 02-07-2017, 11:49 AM
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Linda Ronstadt. MTV started just as her youthful babe-a-liciousness started to fade.
She also changed musical directions, recording songs by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. But her albums of the 1980s went platinum, sometimes triple platinum.
  #33  
Old 02-07-2017, 12:38 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Bob Bailey was the long-time star of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar on the radio. It was one of the last radio dramas, but when they moved the show to the east coast in 1960, Bailey quit the role. He was never able to put together a TV/movie career, taking a handful of bit roles before retiring from acting.
  #34  
Old 02-10-2017, 06:27 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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Not unlike Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino was one of the biggest stars of the silent film era, and a beloved sex symbol. However, his thick accent kept him from making the transition to talkies.
  #35  
Old 02-14-2017, 02:01 PM
42fish 42fish is offline
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Not unlike Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino was one of the biggest stars of the silent film era, and a beloved sex symbol. However, his thick accent kept him from making the transition to talkies.
I suspect that his dying a year before 'The Jazz Singer' triggered the sound era was an even greater factor in keeping him from making the transition.
  #36  
Old 02-14-2017, 03:20 PM
Richard John Marcej Richard John Marcej is offline
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I suspect that his dying a year before 'The Jazz Singer' triggered the sound era was an even greater factor in keeping him from making the transition.
Yeah, being dead will do that to ya.

(of course, if they had the CGI tech back then, he could have still starred and spoke in films, ala Peter Cushing)
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:08 PM
Egnu Cledge Egnu Cledge is offline
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I don't know how much it hurt his career, but both of my parents recall seeing Roy Orbison on TV for the first time and being surprised by how homely he was.
  #38  
Old 02-14-2017, 05:48 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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My standby is Donnie Iris, who didn't have that MTV "look" either.

And I think both Billy Squier and Phil Collins have groused about video killing their radio stardom. (For Squier it was one video in particular.)
I came here to say Billy Squier, who apparently fell of the face of the music planet because the video for "Rock Me Tonight" sucked. To be sure, the video is awful. But I've seen worse. Mick Jagger and David Bowie "Dancing in the Street" comes to forefront of my mind.
  #39  
Old 02-14-2017, 07:21 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Karla DeVito replacing Ellen Foley comes to mind.
You mean Ellen Foley? That's more what she looked like in the Paradise By the Dashboard Light days. Not like the post-Night Court era photo you linked.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:31 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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I came here to say Billy Squier, who apparently fell of the face of the music planet because the video for "Rock Me Tonight" sucked.
It certainly couldn't have helped that he dressed and danced like Richard Simmons. I was a teenage girl at the time and even I could see that he had zero sex appeal. At least David Bowie and Mick Jagger had possessed some theatricality in Dancin' in the Street. I have no idea what Squier thought he was projecting.
  #41  
Old 02-14-2017, 09:14 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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I have no idea what Squier thought he was projecting.
"It's the mid-80s, I'm extremely white, and I can't tell that my agent and the director are imbeciles."
  #42  
Old 02-14-2017, 10:52 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I don't know how much it hurt his career, but both of my parents recall seeing Roy Orbison on TV for the first time and being surprised by how homely he was.
And that was with the ever-present black wig and sunglasses.

I've heard that this is why ZZ Top have the heavy beards, too.
  #43  
Old 02-15-2017, 12:18 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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I don't know how much it hurt his career, but both of my parents recall seeing Roy Orbison on TV for the first time and being surprised by how homely he was.
Despite his non-matinee-idol looks, Orbison actually starred in a fairly strange Western musical in 1967, "The Fastest Guitar Alive," in which he played a Confederate spy, who used a guitar with a gun hidden in it. He didn't wear his trademark sunglasses in the film, either:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tOpyhiXxnUY/hqdefault.jpg
  #44  
Old 02-15-2017, 02:46 PM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
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actually there are reverse examples in the movies ... clara bow for example was considered ne of the greatest and most beautiful actress of the tweens and 20s

Then sound came to movies and they found out she had the voice and speech pattrens of a Brooklyn truck driver .......... but theres tons of others along the same pattern
Her wiki article states the opposite, FYI.
Quote:
With "talkies" The Wild Party, Dangerous Curves, and The Saturday Night Kid, all released in 1929, Bow kept her position as the top box-office draw and queen of Hollywood.[105]Neither the quality of Bow's voice nor her Brooklyn accent was an issue to Bow, her fans, or Paramount.[72]
Quote:
With Paramount on Parade, True to the Navy, Love Among the Millionaires, and Her Wedding Night, Bow was second at the box-office only to Joan Crawford in 1930.[5] With No Limit and Kick In, Bow held the position as fifth at box-office in 1931
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Bow
  #45  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:49 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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I suspect that his dying a year before 'The Jazz Singer' triggered the sound era was an even greater factor in keeping him from making the transition.
Well color me embarrassed. I could have sworn that I read somewhere that he was one of the early silent film-era actors whose transition to talkies was derailed by his thick accent.
  #46  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:00 PM
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It certainly couldn't have helped that he dressed and danced like Richard Simmons. I was a teenage girl at the time and even I could see that he had zero sex appeal. At least David Bowie and Mick Jagger had possessed some theatricality in Dancin' in the Street. I have no idea what Squier thought he was projecting.
He went along with the ideas of the video's director, Kenny Ortega, who went on to direct such hard rock fare as High School Musical.
  #47  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:02 PM
nightshadea nightshadea is offline
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lol that's what I get for using one of those time life book sets for historical reference
  #48  
Old 02-18-2017, 08:52 PM
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I know it was said that Phoebe Snow was too ugly for videos. Of course, her musical style was also about as far away from MTV as you could get.
Phoebe Snow dropped out of recording and touring to devote more time to raising her special needs child.
  #49  
Old 02-18-2017, 11:43 PM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
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An actual example of someone who was a rock star that lost out because of being seen, was Bill Haley of Bill Haley and the Comets. He was obviously an overweight mid-thirties guy, and not a Young Rock God.
  #50  
Old 02-19-2017, 05:54 AM
Asuka Asuka is offline
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A video game example and more of a technical thing, but so many video game creators and developers couldn't handle the jump from traditional 2D games of the 16 bit era to the much more complex 3D games of the 32/64 bit era. It's pretty common to see a game developer make so many brilliant SNES/Genesis games, only to make the leap to PSX/Saturn/N64, make one or two games then completely fold or get bought out by someone else.

Similarly the jump from the PS2/Xbox/GameCube era to Xbox 360/PS3 era wound up killing off a lot of Japanese developers towards the latter half of those consoles lives when the cost of making video games far exceeded their more modest budgets compared to Western developers.
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