1950s Payola Scandal
It was an era when radio DJ’s could make or break an artist. They had complete control over when and how often a record was played. Because of that power, many music companies took the opportunity to influence DJ’s in the form of payola. It was legal but became so prevalent in the 1950s that a Congressional subcommittee on legislative oversight began its payola hearings in February 1960 and declared it illegal. No more cash for plays.