Depending on the criteria, "Travelin' Man" could be the song with the very first music video. Ozzie Nelson realized that whenever he had Ricky sing on their show The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet
, Ricky's record sales shot up the next day, so Ozzie tried to work it into the plot whenever Ricky had a new record out. As Ricky became popular and the demand for his songs was overwhelming, Ozzie realized that working his singing into the plot was going to be impossible, so Ozzie filmed Ricky singing "Travelin' Man," superimposed some travelogue scenes over the film and tacked it onto a show episode at the end. Viola! The music video was born.
That is, if you don't count performance videos and extracted movie scenes like "Jailhouse Rock
." And if you're OK with it being black and white.
The episode, "A Question of Suits and Ties," aired on April 5, 1961 (the song hit #1 on May 29). The clip is far from groundbreaking, but it was footage synched to a performance. Around this time, standalone concept videos were starting to show up for use throughout Europe in Scopitone video jukeboxes
, which were typically placed in bars. A few American artists made videos for these machines in the mid'-60s when they started to appear Stateside. Neil Sedaka made one for "Calendar Girl
" and Nancy Sinatra did one (for a company called Color-Sonics) for "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'