follow my new publication on medium that’s all about elvis

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WE LAUNCHED our new pub­li­ca­tion Tell It Like It Was on Medium on Jan­uary 1, 2019. The ar­ti­cles within ad­dress pop­ular music, pri­marily rock & roll from the ’60s. “We” are John Ross (my fa­vorite music blogger), Lew Shiner (my fa­vorite nov­elist), and my­self. We love the music (and the books and the movies and the styles and the girls girls girls) of that era. READ MORE

the #1 hit records on the pop charts 1960

BrendaLee 1960 piano Billboard 1500

THIS IS THE FIRST in a se­ries of ten ar­ti­cles listing and ad­dressing the #1 records of the year as they ap­peared on Cash Box mag­a­zine’s Top 100 chart from 1960 through 1969. It was orig­i­nally pub­lished as “Save The Last Twist For Me” on my pub­li­ca­tion Tell It Like It Was on Medium on Jan­uary 1, 2019. READ MORE

what is a “record album” and where did the term come from?

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THE WORLD TURNS, WORDS EVOLVE. Some­times the evo­lu­tion of a word is gradual and log­ical and few no­tice the change. Some­times it hap­pens quickly—often through ig­no­rance and misuse—and the change is jar­ring. In the 21st cen­tury, a word can go through a tremen­dous up­heaval if one in­flu­en­tial person mis­uses it one time on the in­ternet. READ MORE

go rockin’ robin ’cause we’re really gonna rock tonight

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FOR MOST OF US, the pe­riod in our lives when we are most pas­sionate about music is our teenage years. Some­where around 13 or 14 years old, we start both in­tense for love and equally in­tense hate af­fairs with the pop music of the day. For me, this pe­riod was 1964-1969: to this day, most of my greatest loves come from this “era.”

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about collectables and their alleged collectability and value

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BUYERS AND SELLERS of collectables—whether records or mem­o­ra­bilia or Beanie Babies—often fail to achieve their goals of fi­nan­cial suc­cess be­cause they do not un­der­stand a few basic concepts on determining col­lec­tability and value of the “seldom found.” Be­cause this a record col­lec­tors web­site, I will gen­er­ally refer to records below, but you can sub­sti­tute al­most any other col­lec­table and the com­ments re­main vir­tu­ally un­changed. READ MORE

michael sowa ain’t never caught a rabbit and he ain’t no friend of mine

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WHILE I WAS PLAYING with count­less themes in search of a new look for Rather Rare Records over the past few weeks, I posted a page with a note of apology and ex­pla­na­tion for all to see.

To make the post eye-catching, I found this killer painting by Michael Sowa ti­tled “Frohe Os­tern” (“Happy Easter”), and used it as the page’s fea­tured image. READ MORE

what exactly was a “rock & roll album” in those days?

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WHAT EXACTLY IS A ROCK & ROLL ALBUM? To an­swer that ques­tion, we need to an­swer an­other: What is rock & roll music? After sixty years, we still don’t have a de­f­i­n­i­tion that everyone agrees with! Ar­gu­ments about its de­f­i­n­i­tion and its origin in the early ’50s—no wait, was it the late ’40s?—have READ MORE

understanding riaa gold and platinum record awards

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MOST INFORMATION on the In­ternet about gold and plat­inum records of the Six­ties is crap! That is, most of the “in­for­ma­tion” re­garding RIAA Gold and Plat­inum Records awarded to al­bums from the ’60s and early ’70s is fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect. This applies to al­most every web­site: the few that aren’t plain in­cor­rect are often un­in­ten­tion­ally mis­leading, and this in­cludes the RI­AA’s own web­site! READ MORE