It is not true that the BBC played no pop music, but it was restricted to using mainly live musicians. The Musicians’ Union stipulated the number of hours of recorded music that it permitted to be aired, arguing that the act of spinning records took work from its members. Much of the MU’s allocated BBC ‘needle time’ was devoted to the weekly ‘Pick of the Pops’ chart run-down. …
The pirates didn’t save the world, but they made big changes to the music industry and the world of broadcasting and caused the government to have a major rethink about what the public wanted as entertainment. Listeners were, after all, legally obliged to purchase a radio and TV licence. (They still are. Detector vans are used to identify unlicensed homes and big fines are imposed.)
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