Mad props to Daemon for finding this out.
I did it and it actually worked!!!!
Here’s the “Fix” –
“hold the ipod facing you, and give it a medium-power whack on its upper right side.
from right to left
I had the evil unhappy click a couple of times and the above thwack method brought it back to me”
I am now in the process of backing EVERYTHING up onmy iPod.