In February 1985 channel 66 premiered on TV in homes all over New England. The first music video played was "Abracadabra" by Steve Miller Band. Created by radio legends John Garabedian and Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg, V66 wasn't just going to be another TV channel, it was going to be radio on TV. MTV had premiered a few years earlier, but cable was only just starting to become available in New England at this time, whereas V66 was a free over-the-air UHF TV channel that anyone could watch. Combining their collective experiences in radio, Garabedian and Ginsburg's vision for the music videos was to combine KISS 108-FM (top 40 pop) with WBCN 104.1-FM (rock). At the time that V66 premiered, Boston was already a bastion for great music. By 1985, some of the biggest music superstars had emerged from Boston: Aerosmith, The Cars, and The J. Geils Band. V66 was in the right place at the right time to showcase the existing superstars, as well as the rising local bands: 'Til Tuesday, Extreme and The Del Fuegos just to name a few. The variety of music (major and indie, old and new, rap and rock, metal and disco) appealed to music fanatics all over New England! In the summer of 1985, V66 was the only non-cable TV channel besides ABC to broadcast the historic Live Aid concert. They also broadcast live events and concerts all over the Boston area. The fans on the street, dancing at the clubs and calling in to win contests became as much a part of the channel as the music being played. V66 had an immediate impact on the Boston community, as well the music industry itself. In 1986, in an attempt to increase ratings, V66 increased their programming with magazine shows, sports highlights, music profiles and syndicated programs. In the summer of 1986, after several attempts to keep it going, V66 got sold to the Home Shopping Channel. In September 1986, V66 signed off and Home Shopping took over the channel 66 airwaves. While V66 wasn't around for very long, the influence was immense. Fans never forgot in the decades since.
V-man on the street