Donovan SunshineSuperman Taiwan record 600

the cheesiest semi-legal records in the world!

I MOVED TO CALIFORNIA from Pennsylvania in June 1978. I naively believed I would find some semblance of “the sixties” hidden away in San Francisco. But in only a few years, most of it had been blotted out. There were still a lot of hand-painted Victorian houses and a few hip coffee shops and bookstores.

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

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. [Continue reading]

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the #1 hit records on the pop charts 1965

THIS IS THE SIXTH in a series of ten articles addressing the #1 records of the year on Cash Box magazine’s pop chart from 1960 through 1969. It was originally published as “Let’s Hang On To Our Ticket To Ride” in my publication Tell It Like It Was on Medium back on June 2, 2019. [Continue reading]

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introduction to the #1 records on the cash box pop chart of the ’60s

ON JANUARY 1, 2109, I launched a new publication on Medium, the largest and most-read blogging platform in the world. The publication is called Tell It Like It Was and is a joint effort by myself along with John Ross and Lew Shiner. It covers rock & roll and related pop music from 1955 through 1975, focused on the ’60s. [Continue reading]

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the day I uncovered the secret of the universe (and then forgot it)

I CAN TRULY SAY that I knew it all—The Secret of the Universe. Once. Briefly. I can also say that this essay has little to do with record collecting, but it does touch on psychedelic music of the ’60s, so here it is (instead of on my other, eponymous blog). [Continue reading]

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on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 3)

THIS ARTICLE ADDRESSES BRIAN WILSON and the inspiration for his legendary SMiLE album. It bears the unwieldy title of “On Brian Wilson And SMiLE (A Convoluted Conversation Part 3),” because it is the second of a three-part article. Please find Parts 1 and 2 and read them before continuing with this article. [Continue reading]

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introduction to rather rare records

MY INTRODUCTION TO WRITING RECORD REVIEWS was for my high school newspaper in 1969. Like most nerds with cool record collections given a pulpit, I wrote condescendingly about the artists and music that my classmates liked. I remember damning Glen Campbell and dismissing Cream’s farewell album. [Continue reading]

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what was the first “rock” double-album of the ’60s?

 IT IS ACCEPTED “FACT” that two seminal works of popular music—the Beach Boys’ PET SOUNDS and Bob Dylan’s BLONDE ON BLONDE—were released on the same day, May 16, 1966. And there was a second reason to celebrate that date: BLONDE ON BLONDE was also the first rock double-album of all-new studio recordings, beating the Mothers of Invention’s FREAK OUT! [Continue reading]

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my review of paul williams’ “outlaw blues” for goodreads

WHILE I HAVE USED GOODREADS AS A SOURCE on my websites, I have not actually participated in the community of readers and reviewers. Until now: I just posted my first review for Paul Williams’s book Outlaw Blues for Goodreads. Oddly, it is only the second review of this important book (and the first was lukewarm). [Continue reading]