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March 11 , 2011

Payola Bribery In The Record Business And Television


Payola involved the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, celebrity disc jockeys like Alan Freed and Dick Clark, and the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. American President Dwight Eisenhower asked his attorney general to look into the matter following revelations made by quiz show contestant Charles Van Doren. Van Doren claimed that he was fed answers when he became a winner on the popular quiz show "Twenty One". Payola investigations lasted for most of 1960, after radio and television stations were directed to send lists of their employees who had taken payola bribes in return for playing the songs published by individual record companies. The attrition cost many djs like Freed their jobs. Dick Clark was made to give up copyrights that he owned in music publishing. Clark also accepted the resignation of Tony Mammarella, his American Bandstand producer. A primary issue was the amount of authority which government agencies like the FTC and FCC were to be given over the broadcasting industry.

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