The Payola Plunder
The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) will present another in its ongoing Community Conversation forums on Tuesday, April 26th from 6:30pm to 10:30pm at the 3Ten Lounge, 310 Bowery in Manhattan. The forum titled The Payola Plunder: Tallying the Toll of Pay to Play is the third in the “Who Mash-Up Reggae?” series and will seek to bring a clearer understanding of the issue of payola and pay to play. In this forum, a group of industry insiders will drill down on this hot button issue of payola which has been the third rail of the music industry for decades. Participating panelists are Cordel Green, executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica; Lloyd Stanbury, president of the Jamaica Arts Development Foundation and veteran reggae singer, Freddie McGregor, former chairman the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association. Joining these esteemed panelists to share their perspectives will be commentators, Carter Van Pelt, host of Eastern Standard Time on WCKR; Lady Ann, 80’s deejay and Mandingo, journalist and radio host based in London.
“This forum is a follow up to one held two years ago at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in the Bronx, where several of New York’s most popular radio jocks participated in examining the accountability of radio deejays,” says Carlyle McKetty, president of CPR. “It was during the Q&A of that forum that the issue of payola and pay to play surfaced resulting in serious questions being raised and it became obvious that the issue needed a deeper examination.” CPR’s mission is to raise the bar in the way the reggae industry operates and the forums seek to do that by engaging the community with practitioners in a manner that elevates the community’s understanding.
“The practice of payola,” says Cordel Green “is of particular concern to the Broadcasting Commission because of complaints from the entertainment industry and the anecdotal correlation between payola and the output on Jamaica’s airwaves.” Lloyd Stanbury points out that, “Payola in Jamaica still has an adverse effect on the quality of music being played,” though he’s quick to add that, “with new media outlets…like youtube, myspace and facebook, listeners no longer need to rely on traditional radio for their music.” Though there are those who feel that “payola promotion” is fast becoming a waste of money, Freddie McGregor feels strongly about the issue of payola and the state of the Jamaican music industry. “They’re mashing up the thing,” he says, “it’s like they don’t care.” Freddie says he is compelled to take action. “This is all I know how to do,” he says, “this can’t continue like this.”
The evening begins at 6:30pm with a meet and greet and will include a showcase of emerging artists. Mark your calendar for April, 26th and plan to be on hand for an engaging evening of reasoning in the quest to preserve reggae music and arrest the payola plunder.