Payola is skewing the charts again
Chart watchers all know what payola is – but for the rest of you, here goes.
was the name given to a scandal that hit American radio in the late
fifties, when the music biz was dominated by sales of seven-inch
Record companies offered radio stations and
individual DJs cash to play their product on high rotation. Under the
laws at the time stations had the ability to play specific songs in
exchange for money, but the plug had to be disclosed as sponsored
airtime. Payola represented paid, but unacknowledged, advertising –
particularly since then and even now key stations report spins of the
newest and most popular songs to industry publications, influencing
other stations’ playlists.
Big names got caught up. Alan
Freed, the man often credited with inventing the term “rock and roll”,
saw his career destroyed by the payola scandal. Dick Clark, the
American Bandstand host, only survived by selling his own record
company interests and cooperating with the authorities.
A quick look at this week’s Canberra Top 40 will let you know where this is all leading us.
Idol John Howard is in his usual Number One spot – but look who else
makes up the Top 10. The places in our own political payola row
dominate this week’s chart.
Rehame has Nationals Leader
John Anderson coming in at Number Two. He’s closely followed by the
Independent MP making the allegations, Tony Windsor, who’s jumped 65
places in the chart and increased his mentions from just 11 in the
previous poll to a massive 1,597 this week to hit Number Three. The
go-between in the row, Nationals Senator Sandy Macdonald, has done even
better. He leaps an amazing 169 places in the Canberra Top 40 to come
in at Number Nine.
Some usual favourites, like Treasurer
Peter Costello, haven’t even made the Top 10 and, ironically, the
payola scandal means that the only real rock and roller in this week’s
Canberra Top 40, Peter Garrett, is languishing way down at Number 39 –
despite his almost perpetual state of confusion over his electoral
enrolment or where and when he’s voted.
Irony of ironies, that must be sweet music to the ambitious new MP’s ears.
Who’s hot, who’s not: The Rehame Top 40 Pols