be the first on your block to tell it like it was!

MY APOLOGIES for ne­glect­ing reg­u­lar read­ers of my blogs for the past few months. For­tu­nately, there is a good rea­son for this that has noth­ing to do with those silly ru­mors cir­cu­lated by the VRC that I had run off and joined a pro­gres­sive com­mune in Ver­mont left over from those hippie-wannabe days of yore. Sigh, as en­tic­ing as that sounds, there's work yet to be done. 1

Tell It Like It Was is a new pub­li­ca­tion that looks at the clas­sic rock & roll, soul, and re­lated pop mu­sic of the ’60s.

In fact, I have been work­ing night and day (and what­ever is in be­tween those times) on a top-secret project with two other writ­ers, John Ross and Lew Shiner. So se­cret has been this project that even the VRC has been in a web of dark­ness through­out it!

And that project is Tell It Like It Was, a new on­line pub­li­ca­tion that launched on Medium a few sec­onds af­ter mid­night on Jan­u­ary 1, 2019.

Tell It Like It Was looks at the rock & roll, soul, and re­lated pop mu­sic of the years 1955-1975, fo­cus­ing on the ’60s. That was the time when the true clas­sics of these gen­res were con­ceived, com­posed, and recorded — years be­fore the mis­nomer clas­sic rock was coined to sell the mu­sic from the lachry­mose ’70s and ’80s.

The ’60s were a time when AM radio’s Top 40 had a fairly re­laxed for­mat and any type of mu­sic could be played: rock, soul, folk, pop, silly nov­elty songs, and even (shud­der) coun­try & west­ern records!

It was the pe­riod when we young­sters who bought mono 45s for 89¢ grad­u­ated to buy­ing stereo LPs for $3.99. And for the most part, the mu­sic and artists that sold the most sin­gles also sold the most al­bums!

And that is some of the top­ics that will be dis­cussed on Tell It Like It Was. John, Lew, and I share a pas­sion­ate de­light with and for this mu­sic and the times in which they were made. The three of us will be writ­ing about the mu­sic, the records, the artists, and other as­pects of that time.

Tell It Like It Was will in­clude:

• in­ter­views

And more than the usual amount of ex­cla­ma­tion marks!


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A hybrid publication

Medium is an on­line pub­lish­ing plat­form that Wikipedia de­scribes as "an ex­am­ple of so­cial jour­nal­ism, hav­ing a hy­brid col­lec­tion of am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional peo­ple and pub­li­ca­tions." Medium puts it an­other way:

"Medium taps into the brains of the world’s most in­sight­ful writ­ers, thinkers, and sto­ry­tellers to bring you the smartest takes on top­ics that mat­ter. So what­ever your in­ter­est, you can al­ways find fresh think­ing and unique per­spec­tives."

Any­one can view most of the con­tent on Medium re­gard­less of whether or not they have an ac­count with the plat­form. But in or­der to pub­lish on Medium and to in­ter­act with other folks on Medium, you need to have an ac­count and be logged in.

Medium is an ex­am­ple of so­cial jour­nal­ism that taps into the brains of the world’s most in­sight­ful writ­ers to bring you the smartest takes on top­ics that mat­ter.

You can cre­ate a FREE ac­count in less than a minute by go­ing to Medium and click­ing the Get started but­ton in the cen­ter of the page. Then you sign up us­ing Face­book or Google. With this free ac­count:

You can read all of the sto­ries ex­cept those be­hind the pay­wall.
You can pub­lish your sto­ries but with­out get­ting paid.

You can also be­come a paid Medium Mem­ber for $5 per month. With this paid ac­count:

You can read all of the sto­ries in­clud­ing those be­hind the pay­wall.
You can pub­lish your sto­ries and get paid for those pub­lished be­hind the pay­wall. 2


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Today and beyond

Medium claims more than 60,000,000 monthly read­ers, which is a wee bit more than this blog will get in a thou­sand years. So, of course, I am hop­ing that a few of these read­ers will find Tell It Like It Was and read the stuff that John and Lew and I la­bo­ri­ously if joy­fully pro­duced. Our pub­li­ca­tion was launched with five ar­ti­cles on one day: 3


Tell It Like It Was is launched is ba­si­cally me blog­ging in an old-fashioned way about this that and the other thing and what we will be do­ing on Medium, to­day and be­yond.


In­tro­duc­tion to Tell It Like It Was ex­plains that the in­tent of our ef­forts is to share our ex­ci­ta­tions and good vi­bra­tions about the mu­sic of the '60s. (And if you want to know why Buzz Aldrin on the Moon is all over this page, you need to read this in­tro­duc­tion.)


In­tro­duc­tion to The Top­per­most of the Pop­per­most is an in-depth (and lengthy) ex­pla­na­tion of what read­ers need to know about a 10-part se­ries of ar­ti­cles from the three of us ti­tled "The Top­per­most of the Pop­per­most." In it, we ad­dress each of the #1 records of the '60s with data, opin­ion, and anec­dote. We be­lieve that you might have as much fun read­ing them as we hard writ­ing them!


The Top­per­most of the Poppermost’s Great­est Hits 1960 – 1969 is a com­pi­la­tion of #1 records from the 10-part se­ries of ar­ti­cles with one chart-topper from each year of the '60s.


Save the Last Twist for Me is a lengthy look at each of the records that reached #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 charts dur­ing 1960. It is com­posed and laid out to read like an on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tion be­tween John, Lew, and me about the records, the artists, the times, and any­thing that came to our fantod-free minds.


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Finger-cramping clapping

A very in­ter­est­ing as­pect of Medium mem­ber­ship is that a por­tion of the $5 each mem­ber pays each month is di­vided up among the writ­ers whose work they read. This divvy­ing up of monies is based on reader's ap­plause us­ing the clap-button that is a part of every story — and you can clap un­til your fin­gers cramp on the key­board to en­sure that your fa­vorite writ­ers get your money!

Need­less to say, I am en­cour­ag­ing each and every reader of my blogs to be­come a dues-paying mem­ber of Medium and re­li­giously fol­low Tell It Like It Was!!

Need­less to say, I am en­cour­ag­ing all dues-paying mem­bers of Medium to clap for our sto­ries un­til the fin­gers on their key­boards are numb!!!



1  The VRC is the good ol' vast rightwing con­spir­acy that every­one as­sured us didn't ex­ist when Mrs. Clin­ton dared men­tion it twenty-four years ago. Now we've got a man in the Oval Of­fice who openly em­braced white su­prema­cists and a VP in the wings fur­ther to the right than the Pres­i­dent! Now that I think about it, I'm not aware of any­one — jour­nal­ist, talking-head, fel­low politi­cian, etc. — apol­o­giz­ing to Hillary for treat­ing her like a para­noid, conspiracy-theory-mongering loon and ac­knowl­edg­ing her in­stead as a bringer-of-light into the dark abyss of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.

2  The monthly mem­ber­ship fee al­lows Medium to func­tion with­out ad­ver­tise­ments while pay­ing at least some of their writ­ers some­thing for their work.

3  Medium refers to every­thing pub­lished on their plat­form to be a story, in­clud­ing com­ments read­ers leave to other writ­ers' sto­ries.