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There was also a short-lived hour-long program called By Request in which viewers could call a 1–900 hotline number to request their videos.
It was introduced on January 1, 1985 with the video performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Marvin Gaye.
In true Imus style, he used a 1985 segment of his VH-1 show to jokingly call smooth-jazz icon Sade Adu a "grape" for her oval-shaped head.
Typical of VH1's very early programming was New Visions, a series which featured videos and in-studio performances by smooth jazz and classical and new-age bands and performers, including Spyro Gyra, Andy Narell, Mark Isham, Philip Glass, and Yanni.
It was originally created by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and the original owner of MTV (MTV and VH1 are now both owned by Viacom Media Networks).
The original purpose of the channel was to build upon the success of MTV by playing music videos, but targeting a slightly older demographic than its sister channel, focusing on the lighter, softer side of popular music.