Neither Joseph W. Stern nor Edward B. Marks have Wikipedia articles. "Stern and Marks" (or "Marks and Stern"?) sounds like an old-time department store. And yet, the songwriting duo is behind one of the most groundbreaking efforts in the music business. They collaborated on the first music video of all time. Alright, perhaps "music video" is a tad of an exaggeration.
Stern sold neckties and wrote music; Marks sold buttons and wrote songs. Together, they came up with "The Little Lost Child". The song tells of a lost girl who asks a policeman for help, who finds out (SPOILER ALERT!) that the girl is his long-lost daughter! It became a huge hit in 1894.
Stern and Marks met an electrician named George H. Thomas, who had an idea. He wanted to use pictures to illustrate the song with the aid of a slide projector, and "The Little Lost Child" seemed like a perfect fit. After some early hiccups, the audiences loved it. The concept of "illustrated song" took off and stayed popular into the 1930s.
Of course, today any teenager can just make their own music video on their cell phone... We've come a long way from Marks and Stern! (Stern and Marks?)