Just as the title says. Who was the artist, what is the track called? Bonus points if the video is available online!

I would say that silent film has the focus on the movie enhanced by the music. Looking for where the music is the centre and the video is enhancing it. (If this distinction makes sense)

6 Answers 6


The first music video-like would be The Little Lost Child in 1894 (!!). This is considered more like the first illustrated song. Using a magic lantern, a series of still images were projected on a screen simultaneous to live performances.

Also, Silly Symphony (1929-39) and Fantasia (1940) were animated films/videos (the former one short) that were structured around music. Thus, technically they are music videos.

The first music video as we know it today, was Tony Bennett's "Stranger in Paradise"(1953) (cannot find it online).

The next music video was Elvis's "Jailhouse Rock" (1957)

  • What prevents you from including featured songs from earlier musicals as "music videos"? E.g. The Jazz Singer (1927), etc...
    – Paul
    Oct 6, 2015 at 1:51
  • A source about Tony Bennett's Stranger in Paradise would be nice.
    – Bebs
    Jan 31, 2020 at 8:26

I think you're going to want to check out Vitaphone shorts like this one (1920s):


They were promotional little films designed to highlight the new talking pictures, but they have the form of a music video: they are built around the performance of a single song.


This depends on the definition of music video.

Ignoring films by Louis Jordan, The Beatles or Elvis Presley, the earliest promotional videos for pop songs, produced specifically to help the sales of individual singles, are: "Go Now" by the Moody Blues in the UK and "Mony Mony" by Tommy James in the USA.

Both are on YouTube:

Go Now - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h42kzEA9l8Q

Mony Mony - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pkMgs3lFwkQ


I happen to enjoy The Ink Spot's The Gypsy, a music video you can see on YouTube. It was shot either in 1946 or 1951.


Ricky Nelson on the show "Ozzie and Harriet". Ozzie was a genius for the time. Ricky’s single of the song would come out couple days later.

  • 4
    Could you pls add some dates and other references to your answer, so we can compare with the dates in the other answers ?
    – Angst
    Dec 31, 2018 at 18:42

Gary Numan's Cars was the first promo video, released in September 1979.

  • 3
    is there an online source which credits that video as the first ? it would fill out the answer a bit
    – Angst
    Sep 7, 2019 at 9:35
  • So it's not the first... Shevliaskovic found videos from the 50s.
    – Bebs
    Jan 31, 2020 at 8:21

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