How did the payola scandal begin?
How did the payola scandal begin?Answer: The radio payola scandal of 1959 actually originated a year earlier, with the equally infamous “game show” scandals of 1958, in which federal investigators revealed that the wildly popular NBC show Twenty-One and $64,000 Question were rigged. The world’s largest publishing house, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), pushed the investigators of that scandal — the House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight, led by Rep. Oren Harris (D – Arkansas) — to investigate radio. Some believe this is because ASCAP wished to destroy rival publishers BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), which had been started by new, smaller, broadcast-related forces within the industry to promote “race,” folk, and “hillbilly” records. Since ASCAP refused to handle these genres, and with all three on the rise among the important youth demographic, it decided to cripple BMI’s infrastructure wherever possible. When the committee announced its intention to