The Payola Scandal
payola.jpg (160026 bytes)
The payola scandal of the late fifties grew from a concentrated effort by guardians (ASCAP) of traditional culture to blunt the impact of (BMI) since payola long preceded rock and roll. The outrage it sparked was plainly had more to do with related social and economic concerns than the immorality of the practice itself.
bar.gif (3285 bytes)

In order to better understand the "Payola Scandal" one needs to know of the participants and events that led to Congress's Select Subcommittee on Legislative  Oversight Hearings on Payola and Other Deceptive Practices in the Field of Broadcasting.

Key Events

ASCAP versus BMI

AMF Recording Ban

1959 Miami Disk Jockey Convention

Television Quiz Show Scandal

Legislative Hearings

Celler Hearings

Roosevelt Hearings

Payola Scandal Hearings

Commercial Bribery Prosecutions

Boston Trials

Philadelphia Hearing

House Special Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight Members

oren-harris.jpg (15341 bytes)
Oren Harris  57 (D) Arkansas

john-bennett.jpg (21297 bytes)
Ranking Member
John Bennett 45 (R) Michigan

steven-derounian.jpg (8835 bytes)
Steven Derounian 41 (R) New York

samuel-devine.jpg (10518 bytes)
Samuel Devine 44 (R) Ohio

john-flynt.jpg (45220 bytes)
John Flynt 45 (D) Georgia

peter-mack.jpg (72443 bytes)
Peter Mack 43  (D) Illinois

john-moss.jpg (36093 bytes)
John Moss 44 (D) California

walter-rogers.jpg (24836 bytes)
Walter Rogers 51  (D) Texas

william-springer.jpg (16280 bytes)
William Springer 50 (R) Illinois

The payola hearings were simply an outgrowth caused by the quiz show scandal. Eisenhower personally asked Representative Oren Harris' Subcommittee of Legislative Oversight to look into the possibility of introducing legislation making payola crime. The payola scandal had nothing to do with payola but, an attempt by ASCAP to regain control of the music industry following the first stage of the investigation many station owners made disk jockeys take and pass lie detector tests and take FCC approved oaths of honesty or be fired.

payola_hearings.jpg (5350 bytes)