In the 1980s the VHS machine and tape revolutionized how we watched television. Setting the timer for your favorite shows while you were out of the house was the newest luxury. Finding out that someone in your household recorded over the episodes of Friday Night Videos was grounds for World War III. Before Blockbuster video became a household name in 1985, I got video rentals from the local mom and pop shop. The first video I ever rented was Michael Jackson’s The Making of Thriller documentary in 1983. I was 13 years old and I must have driven my family crazy with the repetitious play. Michael and his desire to elevate music videos into short movies mesmerized the whole world. With Thriller he changed the game for the music industry.
Fast forward to February 8, 1986 – another game changer was about to take place. On this date Oprah Winfrey became the first African-American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show, and daytime television would never be the same.
My VCR went into overdrive. Recordings of her talk show was imperative so I could respond to the lunchroom conversation when someone asked, “Did you see Oprah yesterday?” For 25 years that question continued to be asked. Whether you are a fan or foe, you must admit the lessons from those shows infiltrated the consciousness of the world. I’ve always been a fan. Thank you Oprah for shining your light on me. I think today I’ll dust of a VHS tape for old times sake.