Payola is skewing the charts again

Chart watchers all know what payola is – but for the rest of you, here goes.

Payola
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
singles.

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.

Australian
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

RankNameMentionsMentions
Last Report
Rank
Last Report
1John
Howard
270419731
2John
Anderson
16973587
3Tony
Windsor
15971168
4Mark
Latham
9755636
5David
Hawker
8843538
6Bronwyn
Bishop
5295622
7Alexander
Downer
4816734
8Tony
Abbott
4765485
9Sandy
Macdonald
4270178
10Chris
Ellison
3891754
11Bruce
Baird
3734334
12Peter
Costello
2976753
13Mark
Vaile
2466121
14Stephen
Smith
2084101
15Kevin Andrews1724929
16Wayne
Swan
1672643
17Julia
Gillard
1619017
18Warren
Truss
16010915
19Bob
Brown
1565027
20David
Jull
1412149
21Anthony
Albanese
1352131
22Brendan
Nelson
1287052
23Chris
Evans
1262131
24Philip
Ruddock
1143058
25De
Anne Kelly
1125027
26Dick
Adams
973115
27Paul
Neville
924101
27Wilson
Tuckey
922445
29Kevin
Rudd
9124311
30Helen
Coonan
8925710
30Ian
Macdonald
895622
32Andrew
Southcott
802131
33Amanda
Vanstone
712779
34Sharman
Stone
665622
35Ron
Boswell
63785
36Alex
Somlyay
622131
37Craig
Emerson
594101
38Natasha
Stott Despoja
58 978
39Peter
Garrett
529416
39Simon
Crean
52594
41Alan
Cadman
46690
41Chris
Pyne
468119

Peter Fray

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