‘Once Upon a Time…in the Valley’: Episodes 1 to 3 Launched Today

‘Once Upon a Time…in the Valley’: Episodes 1 to 3 Launched Today

‘Once Upon a Time…in the Valley’, a new podcast series co-produced and co-presented by The Rialto Report’s Ashley West, launches today with the first three episodes.

Episode 1 – T-R-A-C-I
It’s 1986. The San Fernando Valley. And, it turns out, the biggest star in Adult, isn’t one.

Episode 2 – Wanted: Figure Models
A 15-year-old Redondo Union High sophomore learns to fake it so she can make it… as a nude model.

Episode 3 – We Kinda Made it Hardcore
Traci lands the Penthouse centerfold–and the studliest stud in porn.

Download via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RADIO.COM and everywhere podcasts are available.
New episodes will drop every Tuesday throughout the series. Subscribe to the series for free here.


Press Release:

C13Originals Launches Season One of its new Documentary Series, ‘Once Upon a Time… in the Valley’: The Traci Lords Scandal

A real-life mystery and porno-noir created and written by acclaimed Vanity Fair writer and literary iconoclast Lili Anolik, featuring Ashley West, consultant on HBO’s The Deuce.

Before there were sex tapes, there were sex tapes…

C13Originals, the Peabody Award-nominated documentary studio division of leading premium podcast company Cadence13, announces Once Upon a Time…in the Valley, the real-life mystery and porno-noir podcast series created and written by Vanity Fair’s Lili Anolik, featuring Ashley West.

Before there were sex tapes, there were sex tapes. Before there was Paris or Kim, there was Traci. The first, the best, the O.G. Hardcore since ’84.

In the roaring 80’s porn world, Traci Lords reigned supreme. No one questioned her right to sovereignty. Only, it turned out, the biggest star in adult films was, legally speaking, just a child. As America would discover in July 1986, when the FBI busted down her door. Traci Lords was really Nora Kuzma, who’d entered the industry as a 15-year-old high school sophomore. Traci, the victim, was saved. And the industry, the villain, was very nearly destroyed. But what if the victim here was also the villain; the villain, also the victim?

As Anolik cautions, “Put your condoms on, get that safe word ready” because she and Ashley are going in hard and deep. It’s the San Fernando Valley. It’s the mid-1980s, the moment the industry is exploding: moving from New York to L.A., from film to video, from the shadows to the spotlight. Traci may be the series’ focus, but its setting and supporting players—Ginger Lynn, Christy Canyon, Tom Byron, to name but a few—are so dynamic, they’re constantly threatening to upstage her. (Not that she’ll let them.)

“It’s the story I’ve wanted to tell more than any other,” says Lili Anolik. “Just imagine Boogie Nights, if Boogie Nights had a three-way with Gone Girl and A Star Is Born—and it let Gone Girl be on top.”

“Lili’s instincts for storytelling, and her brilliant writing style are on full display in this franchise,” said Chris Corcoran, Chief Content Officer, Cadence13. “The launch of ‘Once Upon a Time…in the Valley’ marks the continued expansion of the C13Originals slate, and the boundary-pushing, and thrilling ways we can tell compelling cultural stories with the best storytellers.”

Once Upon a Time…in the Valley was created and written by Lili Anolik in collaboration with, and produced by Peabody-Award nominated C13Originals, a division of Cadence13. The series is Executive Produced by Corcoran and Anolik; produced by West; directed by Zak Levitt; edited and mastered by Chris Basil, Bill Shultz, Perry Crowell, and Ian Mandt; with theme music and original score by Joel Goodman.

Lili Anolik is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Her work has also appeared in Harper’s, Esquire and The Paris Review, among other publications. Her latest book, the Los Angeles Times bestseller Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A., was named one of Esquire’s Best Books of 2019.

Ashley West is the creator of The Rialto Report, a web and podcast channel that documents the Golden Age of Porn (1969-1984). He’s worked as a consultant on HBO’s The Deuce, and has published numerous pieces on the adult industry in The Daily Beast, several of which have been optioned for film and television.


  • Posted On: 14th July 2020
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. Traci fan · July 14, 2020 Reply

    Just listened to the first three episodes back to back….. and wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You guys are going deep… and telling the story of the whole era, as well as Traci’s story.
    Totally compelling.

  2. Hank · July 14, 2020 Reply

    A fascinating structure: Traci’s story in her own words, and then the story from the XXX industry.
    Discrepancies start to appear between the two narratives, and they are weighed up carefully.

    Roll on Episode 4 – and how many are there in total?

  3. James Ward · July 14, 2020 Reply

    Forensic and thorough.

    The Traci story finally has a reliable narration.

  4. Paul Cobb · July 14, 2020 Reply

    As usual with the Rialto Report, this is a story that is told with care, affection, and detail.
    Knocked it out of the park.
    This deserves the full Netflix docu-drama treatment. How about it?

  5. Jeff Robertson · July 14, 2020 Reply

    Why did Traci Lords left x-rated film in 1986 during Edwin Meese Commission that was really interesting article and podcast keep up good work

  6. 80's Fan · July 14, 2020 Reply

    Bravo, Ashley and Lily…, bravo!

    I loved hearing first Traci’s, then the porn industry’s polar opposite, side of the story, along with Ginger Lynn and Christy Canyon’s perspective on the subject. Everyone should go back and re-listen to their podcasts, which were used generously throughout this one. I’ll have to read Christy’s book again, Lights, Camera, Sex!, which I see is going for a good price now on Amazon and Ebay.

    Can’t wait for next Tuesday’s edition!

  7. Bondurant · July 14, 2020 Reply

    Will be listening later tonight after wrapping up Saget on Rogan. One gripe I have with Spotify is that I cannot stream the podcasts in sequential order. Do other services offer this, what should be a basic, option?

    • Mike From Brooklyn · July 15, 2020 Reply

      So are the Traci interviews new? When it’s her voice on the podcast, who is she talking to?
      I Googled and she herself has said nothing about this podcast yet, which is odd.
      Awesome nonetheless!

  8. In Sin · July 14, 2020 Reply

    I listened to the first 3 episodes, and I did enjoy them. Not a great deal of new info, but cleverly conceived and put together. Byron probably knows the most about Lords, and even he was clueless about who she was and where she came from. As I have stated in the past, the criminal element of adult entertainment is one of its lures for me. I look forward to the next installment. Well done.

    “It’s not a lie, if you believe it”-George Costanza

  9. Eddie Gold · July 15, 2020 Reply

    I knew a guy that went to school with Tracy in Stubenville Ohio, and he claimed she was known to be a slut in Jr. High.

    • Diane · July 15, 2020 Reply

      I saw a report on Traci Lords years ago right after the scandal happened and two former high school mates were interviewed about her. The young woman had stated that Traci ( or Nora) dressed very provocatively when she knew her, and a former boyfriend had referred to Traci (or Nora) as “exciting.” I believe the young man was a high school boyfriend but he could have been a boyfriend outside of school. This report was years ago-mid 80s.

  10. Bon · July 15, 2020 Reply

    Damn good listening. Informative, methodical, and compelling story-telling!
    Roll on Ep 4!!!!!

  11. just.eric.7 · July 16, 2020 Reply

    Listened to all 3 episodes back to back. Good stuff. Looking forward to the next 3 episodes!! Traci certainly is good at telling lies! LOL She’s been telling them so long, she probably believes them now!!

    I’d listened to Tom, Christy and Ginger’s Rialto Report interviews Before and enjoyed them very much!

    Excellent work as always!!

  12. George Maranville · July 19, 2020 Reply

    Back in the 90s we, Brains on Film , used to tour the country showing exploitation films and shooting interviews at various horror/fandom conventions. At a couple of them Traci was doing autographs. Given it was the 90s our professional camera gear stuck out. Traci has the promoters make us put away our cameras if we were within 50 yards of her. Needless to say she didn’t allow us to interview her. And remember when she shut down that band for having the name “Lord Tracy/Traci?” No one can ever accuse her not trying to “protect her brand.” Sharp as a serpent’s tooth that one.

  13. Jim Hodges · September 16, 2020 Reply

    Given her ambitious career choices, at every step of the game, I’m leaning more towards thinking she’s as calculating as they come. She paints herself as a blameless victim throughout EVERY possible situation in episode 1, her recall of the situation. Having met her once in the early 00’s at Sundance, she was bitter and cold as described by Mr. Byron.

    Very shrewish. Doubtful she was ever exploited. I don’t think she planned the entire caper as much as she seized every possible example when it presented itself. Bravo on the presentation. Wondering when we can expect a Rialto Report on the sexy and silent member of the 80’s era – TAIJA RAE, The Great Mystery? She was beautiful in an odd way, a chameleon when it came to her looks, and could actually act.

  14. Guido · December 25, 2021 Reply

    Where is it possible to check the transcript of TL episodes?

  15. MISTYK the DJ · April 20, 2023 Reply

    This was an awesome series! I was hooked! So much drama!

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