Prior to the 1980s, these works were described by various terms including "illustrated song", "filmed insert", "promotional (promo) film", "promotional clip", "promotional video", "song video", "song clip" or "film clip".
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In his autobiography, Tony Bennett claims to have created "..first music video" when he was filmed walking along the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London in 1956, with the resulting clip being set to his recording of the song "Stranger in Paradise".
The oldest example of a promotional music video with similarities to more abstract, modern videos seems to be "Dáme si do bytu" ("Let's get to the apartment") created in 1958 and directed by Ladislav Rychman.
The short film clip he produced and directed to promote the single has a striking visual style that predates Queen's similar "Bohemian Rhapsody" video by a full decade.
It also predates what The Beatles did with promotional films of their singles "Rain" and "Paperback Writer", both released in 1966.
Some music videos blend different styles, such as animation, music, and live action.
Combining these styles and techniques has become more popular because of the variation it presents to the audience.Soundies, produced and released from 1940 to 1947, were musical films that often included short dance sequences, similar to later music videos.In the mid-1940s, musician Louis Jordan made short films for his songs, some of which were spliced together into a feature film Lookout Sister.One of the best-known examples is Madonna's 1985 video for "Material Girl" (directed by Mary Lambert) which was closely modelled on Jack Cole's staging of "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.Several of Michael Jackson's videos show the unmistakable influence of the dance sequences in classic Hollywood musicals, including the landmark "Thriller" and the Martin Scorsese-directed "Bad" which was influenced by the stylised dance "fights" in the film version of West Side Story.Animation artist Max Fleischer introduced a series of sing-along short cartoons called Screen Songs, which invited audiences to sing along to popular songs by "following the bouncing ball", which is similar to a modern karaoke machine.