To plug a song

Posted by ESC on February 25, 2005

In Reply to: Tp plug a song posted by James Briggs on February 25, 2005

: I was watching an episode of The Great American Musical on BBC4 last night and they mentioned that George Gershwin spent much of his early composing life in New York's Tin Pan Alley 'plugging songs'. I asked myself, 'why plug?'. The only answer I've ever found is less than convincing. Any other offers?
: "To plug a song is a phrase used to describe attempts to popularise a song by repeated requests for it to be played. Sometime these requests are part of an orchestrated effort and are therefore likely to be unrepresentative of the public's feelings. The origin could be from Leonard Plugge, a disk jockey on Radio Normandie before WWII. He certainly pushed records, but his part in the origin is not certain."

Here is what I've found so far:

plug -- 20th century. An advertisement, a puff, especially when filtered through a TV or radio programme. See plug (verb, meaning 2): mid-19th century, to strike, either with the fist or with a missile. From Cassell's Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green (Wellington House, London, 1998).