Todays episode looks into the process of paying for radio time which is called Payola.
A dominant trend in the 1930s onwards, Payola was a core part of the music industry and a huge influence on the dominant trends in popular music. Interestingly, while the practice is illegal, and suggests a rich-get-richer musical hierarchy, it played a surprisingly positive role in pushing forward songs from more niche genres such as Country and R&B at a pivotal time in history, thus presenting a wider range of music to American audiences.
Because of this, the issue remains a complex one with a lot of moral gray areas.
So what is the story of Payola? How dominant really was it? And in what sort of form does it exist today?