Honest Dick Smith Dies

Donna Halper dlh@donnahalper.com
Sat May 21 01:53:57 EDT 2011

On 5/21/2011 12:06 AM, A Joseph Ross wrote:
> Does "Honest" Dick Smith mean that he didn't take payola?

Actually, based on what I saw, most of the music directors were in fact 
pretty honest.  But it was part of the culture of record promotion that 
a lot of music directors, and the most powerful disc jockeys and program 
directors, received gifts from the record companies.  Often the gifts 
were small (t-shirts, mugs, some silly item that made you think of the 
particular record) but in some cases, and at certain influential 
stations, they were pretty large. During the payola scandal in 
1959-1960, testimony showed that some radio folks were raking in 
thousands and thousands of dollars in exchange for playing certain 
songs.  I never knew Dick Smith very well, but I took the nick-name to 
mean he had a good reputation with the record promoters for being fair 
to them.

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