“tell it like it was” on a screen near you now!

Es­ti­mated reading time is 5 min­utes.

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

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.


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


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.


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