Evaluation: TV Music Shows

I recently saw a documentary about Johnny Cash on Ovation and it talked about his ABC music program The Johnny Cash Show from the late 60s/early 70s. The show incorporated traditional and new acts, all kinds of musical genres, unsigned artists as well as recording legends, and played some music that wasn't exactly primetime friendly. This got me thinking about TV music shows today.

Is there anything that can stand up to The Johnny Cash Show on TV today, on any channel? What are your favorite/least favorite music shows on TV?


I was just talking about the Johnny Cash show a couple of days ago, after coming across a YouTube clip of Johnny and Jose Feliciano from that program. I don't think there is anything comparable on TV today. Later... with Jools Holland is a distant cousin of that show but isn't really close, either. I think the same format could be done today on prime time TV by somebody like Justin Timberlake, but I doubt it will ever happen. The "music" shows on TV now are all dreadful competition disasters that are painful to watch.


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The "music" shows on TV now are all dreadful competition disasters that are painful to watch.
Other than a few of the concerts on PBS there really is no music on TV. I heard there was once a cable network that was all about music, but that was before video killed the radio star.


Whether anything stands up to the Johnny Cash show (or any other show) is a matter of personal taste. I have not watched it, so I can't say. I think that there is some good music still on TV, but it's just not necessarily in one variety show like that. There are musicals, and competition shows, and dramas that use music as background, and talk shows that have musical guests. Perhaps some people don't like all the music, but there is way more to choose from than back then, at least.
I remember there used to be a lot of music shows on television when I was growing up. I have never seen the Johnny Cash show but I know there isn't anything like that today. Even channels like MTV and BET which used to be all about music have been taken over by reality shows and old movies. I don't understand what happened but it has turned me away from these channels. I would love to see good music come back because it is definitely gone.
Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I think the switch from 'variety' to 'competition' music shows is a big factor here, and hence how much you like new music TV will depend on how much you like reality game shows. Also, the reality takeover of MTV seems to be obstructing new music programming. Interesting that Later...with Jools Holland was mentioned, as I really admire it in theory for bringing all kinds of music together in one program, but at the same time that's what prevented me from watching it on a regular basis, as I knew there was so little for me in there. I think that might be the problem with variety music shows in a nutshell!


Looks like they are coming out with DVDs of these classic Kirshner concerts. The show was always on late at night. Big stadium shows. I was in high school and would stay up and try to watch. If you never got to go to concerts these shows revealed what it was like. I often went to the Spectrum in Philly. I saw a lot of 70s rock back then.