Why did Dick Clark, the former American
Bandstand host, survive the Payola scandal?
#118253. Asked by lilacmay4. (Oct 20 10 1:23 PM)
The probe quickly focused in on the two top deejays in the country, Dick Clark and Alan Freed. Freed's broadcast alliances quickly deserted him. In late November, Freed was fired from both ABC-radio and WNEW-TV.|
Clark, with more to lose, quickly gave up all his musical interests when ordered to do so by ABC-TV. When asked to sign a statement denying involvement Freed refuse and was promptly fired from his job with WINS.
When Clark appeared to testify he brought Bernard Goldsmith a statistician. Goldsmith told the committee that Clark had a 27% interest in records played in the past 28 months and those records had a 23% popularity rating. The committee was stunned as they wondered what came first the chicken or the egg.
Clark's testimony began with telling the committee he had given up all outside interests connected with the recording industry. He also said the only reason he had gotten involved with those businesses were for the tax advantages. Clark admitted a $125 investment in Jamie Records returned a profit of $11,900 and of the 163 songs he had rights to143 were given to him.
When questioned about Jamie records it was discovered that Jamie paid out $15,000 in payola, but Clark denied ever accepting any. The committee clearly didn't believe Clark, but he received just a slap on the wrist. In fact, committee chairman Oren Harris called Clark "a fine young man."
Freed who refused to deny involvement wasn't so lucky. Though he would only receive a small fine and six months suspended sentence his career was in tatters. Freed would die penniless, a bitter broken man, Jan 20, 1965 in Palm Springs, California. He was forty three.
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