The first, whose career was ruined, was none other than Alan Freed.
But other rising radio stars, such as Dick Clark, said goodbye to their careers early.
WAIT (AM) Chicago Phil Lind is said to have received $ 22,000 for each song he played.
In these tactics, however, each artist had no participation and in fact, was once again a means of exploitation.
It was not a few times that he was forced to play for free at concerts organized by a radio station, just to stay on its playlist.
After the first investigations into Payola in the early 1960s, the offense entered the category of a misdemeanor.
But also, from the music producers, the right to choose the music themselves was taken away, without of course missing the exceptions.
The record labels gave lists, which the DJs had to follow faithfully.
This, however, made the independent bodies, having as their only way of promoting music, this illegal tactic.
So, in 1986 NBC News made a report on” the New Payola, ” launching a new round of research.
The New Payola
In 2002, the New York prosecutor, through Eliot Spitzer, found evidence against Sony BMG executives about deals with radio station chains that referred to Payola’s tactics.
Just three years later, the company admitted it and was forced to pay $ 10 million to the US government.
Warner music group and Universal music group had the same fate, which was forced to pay $ 5 and $ 12 million respectively.
Of course, legality is always some steps behind illegality, taking advantage of some legal windows, continuing this tactic through third parties.
But the Federal Communications Commission also discovered this “window”.
And it forced four major media outlets, CBS Radio, Citadel, Clear Channel, and Entercom, to pay a $ 12.5 million fine.
Thus, due to strict controls, they were forced to cut off all contact with independent promoters.
An even more extreme form of Payola is found mainly in South and Central America.
On local radios, a name appears, which did not exist until then, projected as a rising star.
The radio itself organizes some concerts with the “non-existent” and in fact artists, which is promoted too much.
The location is deliberately wrong and of course, this live show never happens.
The reason for this is very simple: Money laundering from the drug trade.
Pay [ing] to play
On the other hand, the “pay [ing] to play” tactic is not defined as a violation of a law related to Payola.
It is often customary for a band to play in a venue, to pay a fee.
A custom that is mainly expressed in Britain and America is the famous “Battle of the Bands”.
The way is usually done through a third-party intermediary or a promotion company.
Even Billboard magazine addressed the issue in its “Pay to Get Played” article.
It even names Audible Spectrum Records as one such company, which received $ 350 for each appearance of the band.
The band can only get some compensation only if a certain number of tickets are filled in or if they win the competition.
Reminds you of something????
Of course, the artists themselves have dealt with this issue through their songs, such as:
- They Might Be Giants – Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal,
- Neil Young – Payola Blues
- Billy Joel ‘- We Didn’t Start the Fire, to which he also refers.
Even the famous “My Sharona” becomes “My Payola” with Dead Kennedys in the caustic “Pull My Strings” written especially for the 1980 Bay Area music Awards.
But the Canadians chose the new wave band Payola $ to critique punk’s boom in the 70s.
It may seem superfluous to mention some legal frameworks and illegal music promotion tactics.
But a basic knowledge of these helps to understand some musical outbursts, but also the music-money relationship.
However, rock music, although it was hit a few times, managed to create its own audience, which is not affected by these tactics.
But in general, it is another reason for more personal research …