True or False With Ed Sullivan

Ed Sullivan - Circa 1950sOn this edition of Ron’s Amazing Stories the blog, we look at the great Ed Sullivan. Who was he? Why Was he? I will attempt to fill your brains with knowledge. How we will do it? Let’s play, True or False with Edward Vincent Sullivan.

Q1 – Let’s Start out with the truth.

Edward Vincent Sullivan was born September 28, 1901, and was an American television personality, sports and entertainment reporter, and syndicated columnist. He is principally remembered as the creator and host of the television variety program The Ed Sullivan Show.

Q2 – Before all of his fame and attention he was a humble sports writer?

True: Sullivan landed his first job at The Port Chester Daily Item, a local newspaper for which he had written sports news while in high school. In 1919, he joined The Hartford Post, that newspaper folded in his first week there! He bounced through a series of news jobs with The Associated Press. Finally, in 1927, Sullivan joined The Evening Graphic as first a sports writer and then its sports editor.

Q3 – Wasn’t it in 1948 he became a household phenom?

False: In 1948 Marlo Lewis got the CBS network to hire Sullivan to do a weekly Sunday-night TV variety show called Toast of the Town. Debuting in June of 1948, the show was a success locally and was moved to CBS-TV Studio 50 in New York City. It was renamed to The Ed Sullivan Show where it would spend the next 23 years as a television icon!

Q4 – CBS-TV Studio 50 was the home of the David Letterman Show wasn’t it?

True: But it is no longer called CBS-TV Studio 50! In 1967 was renamed to the Ed Sullivan Theater. Before all of that, it was called the Hammerstein Theatre. It was built in 1927 named after Oscar Hammerstein, who was an American theatrical producer and director of musicals for more than 40 years.

Q5 – Ed Could not wait to book Elvis Presley on the show!

False: Sullivan was wary of Elvis Presley’s “bad boy” image, and initially said that he would never book him, but Presley became too big a name to ignore. So, in 1956, Sullivan signed him for three appearances. In August 1956, Sullivan was injured in an automobile accident near his country home in Southbury, Connecticut, and missed Presley’s first appearance. However, after Sullivan got to know Presley personally, he made amends by telling his audience, “This is a real decent, fine boy.”

That is all I have this time. If you want to learn more about Ed Sullivan I suggest heading over to The Ed Sullivan Official Website.

This Week’s Podcast: On the podcast this week we have a jam-packed show and it’s all about cats! We have ghost cats, strange facts about cats, and science fiction story that begins with a cat being flash frozen! Want more? Well, there is more and you can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listings or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey.
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

True Or False With Dick Powell

Dick Powell
Richard Powell’s publicity shot circa the 1940s.

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Stories the blog, we look at Dick Powell. Who was he? Why Was he? We will attempt to fill your brains with knowledge.  How we will do it? Let’s play, True and False with Dick Powell.

Q1: Let’s Start with Dick Powell Truth?

True: Richard Ewing Powell was an American singer, actor, film producer, film director, and studio executive. Powell came to stardom as a musical comedy performer. However, wanting to break the mold he successfully transformed into a hardboiled leading man.

Q2: Dick Powell was the first actor to portray the private detective Philip Marlowe on screen?

True: Murder, My Sweet was the first adaption to hit the big screen. It was released in 1944 and was directed by Edward Dmytryk. It starred Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, and Anne Shirley. The film was based on Raymond Chandler’s 1940 novel Farewell, My Lovely.

Q3: Dick Powell Got his start touring the country with a swing band he formed?

True: Powell sang in church choirs and local orchestras until he started his own, The Royal Peacock Band, which toured throughout the Midwest. Later, he joined the Charlie Davis Orchestra, based in Indianapolis where he recorded a number of records for the Vocalion label in the late 1920s. In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought Vocalion and loved Powell’s voice.  He became a solid star.

Q4: Dick Powell Directed John Wayne?

True: Powell directed The Conqueror in 1956. It starred John Wayne as Genghis Khan. The exterior scenes were filmed in St. George, Utah, downwind of U.S. above-ground atomic tests. The cast and crew totaled 220 people. Interesting fact; 91 of them developed some form of cancer.  By 1981 forty-six had died of cancer including both Powell and Wayne. This cancer rate is about three times higher than one would expect in a group of this size. Many believe that radioactive fallout was the cause.

Q5: Dock Powell was married to Hollywood Sweetheart, Grace Kelly?

False: Out of his league? Naw, he was married to Hollywood sweetheart June Allyson in 1945 until his death in 1963. If you don’t know who June Allyson is shame on you! They had two children, Pamela (adopted) and Richard Powell, Jr.

There you have a brief look at the life and times of Dick Powell. He had an amazing career cut short by cancer.  You can listen to a compilation of his music on iTunes. Search for Dick Powell or follow this link. Thank you for reading!

This Week’s Podcast: On the podcast this week we will feature a story from Dick Powell, talk about snakes, and much more. Come give us a listen on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey.
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

True Or False With OTR

I got to thinking today, about the history of OTR and want to dispel some myths, confirm some facts, and we will do this with a game I call True Or False. All you have do is make a guess.

Old Time Radio LogoQ1:  OTR stands for Other Terrestrial Radio?

Well, no that doesn’t even make any sense. OTR stands for Old Time Radio. The old-time radio era, sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of Radio, was an era of radio programming in the United States during which radio was the dominant electronic home entertainment medium. It began with the birth of commercial radio broadcasting in the early 1920s and lasted through the 1940s when television gradually superseded radio as the medium of choice for scripted programming, variety, and dramatic shows.

Q2: It is a fact that everyone during the golden age of radio listened to the medium and that there was a radio in every home?

That would be false. According to a 1947 C. E. Hooper survey, 82 out of 100 Americans were found to be radio listeners. A variety of new entertainment formats and genres were created for the new medium, many of which later migrated to television: radio plays, mystery serials, soap operas, quiz shows, talent shows, daytime and evening variety hours, situation comedies, play-by-play sports, children’s shows, cooking shows, and more. Believe it or not even today there is not a TV in every home.

Q3: The earliest form of Old Time Radio was found in Paris in 1890?

That is true, broadcasts of live drama, comedy, music, and news that characterize the Golden Age of Radio had a precedent in the Théâtrophone, commercially introduced in Paris in 1890 and available as late as 1932. It allowed subscribers to eavesdrop on live stage performances and hear news reports by means of a network of telephone lines. The development of radio eliminated the wires and subscription charges from this concept.

Q4: The first OTR program broadcast in the United States took place on Christmas Eve 1906?

Very True! On Christmas Eve 1906, Reginald Fessenden is said to have broadcast the first radio program, consisting of some violin playing and passages from the Bible. While Fessenden’s role as an inventor and early radio experimenter is not in dispute, several contemporary radio researchers have questioned whether the Christmas Eve broadcast took place, or whether the date was, in fact, several weeks earlier. The first apparent published reference to the event was made in 1928 by H.P. Davis, Vice President of Westinghouse, in a lecture given at Harvard University.

I could go on and on with questions answers on this topic. I will visit this subject again later on down the road in volume two.  Thank you for reading!

This Week’s Podcast: On the podcast this week we return to some good ole old time radio with a classic science fiction story from X-Minus One. We have the best of your stories and head back in time to hear a speech given by Douglas MacArthur. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey.
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

True Or False With Christmas

IMerry Christmas! thought that this time on the blog we would play a game of True or False. We do this from time, however, normally the topic is a person, place or even a thing. This time we play our game with Christmas. Do you know your facts? Take a moment and see.

Q1 – The word Mistletoe actually means “Dung On A Stick”?

Answer: While not the exact translation this is true! Most people think of mistletoe as being romantic, but it isn’t, not really. The name derives from mistletan, which means a twig of mistle; the seeds of the plant are propagated through the excrement of birds, notably the mistle thrush. If you now take account that the old Germanic word ‘mist’ means dung, mistletoe’s name translates as Dung plant.

Q2 – The modern image of a fat, red-suited Santa Claus was invented by the Coca-Cola Company.

Answer: Not true although one would think it was. In 1931 Coca-Cola commissioned the artist Haddon Sundblom to create images of Santa Claus drinking from a bottle of Coke. Sundblom depictions of Santa became very, very popular, but it’s not the modern image of Santa. By the early twentieth century, Santa was already commonly being depicted as a fat, jolly, red-suited, long-bearded old man. For instance, a greeting card drawn by Louis Prang in 1885 shows a Santa essentially identical to the one we know today.

Q3 – The bones of the original Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) are preserved in a church in Italy.

Answer: This is true! St. Nicholas was a fourth-century bishop who lived in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Upon his death, his bones were preserved in the town of Myra, but in 1087 these bones were stolen and moved to the town of Bari in Italy. They remain there to this day, located in the church of San Nicola.

Do you like this? You can find more of these true and false blogs at Ron’s Amazing Stories – The Blog. Just click-here to see the entire catalog of articles.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have three more stories sent in by you, two special science fiction tales from those 50’s pulp magazines, and a Christmas story from Tom. One of the stories sent in by Lizzie is on my top list of most scary ever! You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey.
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

True or False with Boris Karloff

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Blog, we will explore the American icon, Boris Karloff. We will do this with a good old-fashioned game of True or False. Can you guess the answer before you read it?

Boris Karloff 1950William Henry Pratt, better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor who was primarily known for his roles in horror films. He portrayed, most famously, Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939).

Q1 – Sure he was a great character actor, but could he… would he… do Doctor Seuss?

True – His best-known non-horror role was as the Grinch in the animated television special, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). For his contribution to film and television, Boris Karloff was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Q2 – Boris has a blood link to the movie The King and I?

True – His mother’s maternal aunt was Anna Leonowens, whose tales about life in the royal court of Siam (now Thailand) were the basis of the musical The King and I.

Q3 – It is said that Borris took his stage name from a mad scientist character,”Boris Karlov”, in the novel The Drums of Jeopardy.

False – That book was not published until 1920 and he was already using his stage name by then. Karloff always claimed he chose the first name “Boris” because it sounded foreign and exotic, and that “Karloff” was a family name from his Slavic roots. However, his daughter Sara Karloff publicly denied any knowledge of Slavic forebears. One verified reason for the name change was to prevent embarrassment to his family. His brothers were all dignified members of the British Foreign Service. He was considered the “black sheep of the family” for having become an actor or at least Karloff apparently worried they felt that way. He did not reunite with his family until he returned to Britain to make The Ghoul in 1933. He was worried that his siblings would disapprove of his macabre world fame. Instead, his brothers jostled for position around him and happily posed for publicity photographs. After the photos were taken, Karloff’s brothers immediately started asking about getting copies of their own. The story of the photo became one of Karloff’s favorites.

Q4 – The last time Boris donned the monster make-up was for the television series Route 66?

True – Karloff donned the monster make-up for the last time in 1962 for a Halloween episode of the TV series Route 66.  As part of the story Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Peter Lorre meet to discuss whether their old monster costumes, they used in films, would still scare a TV audience today.

Q5 – Borris worked in Comic Books?

True – Karloff lent his name and likeness to Gold Key Comics based upon the television series Thriller. After Thriller was canceled, the comic was retitled Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. An illustrated likeness of Karloff continued to introduce each issue of this publication for nearly a decade after his death. In fact, the comic lasted until the early 1980s.

Q6 – Borris delivered his only child in full monster makeup.

True – He married five times and had one child, daughter Sara Karloff, by his fourth wife. At the time of his daughter’s birth, he was filming Son of Frankenstein and reportedly rushed from the film set to the hospital while still in full makeup.

Boris Karloff was truly a special actor who graced us with some of our greatest tales and horrible nightmares. He spent his retirement in England at his country cottage named Roundabout in the Hampshire village of Bramshott. He contracted bronchitis in 1968 and was hospitalized at University College Hospital. He died of pneumonia at the King Edward VII Hospital on 2 February 1969, at the age of 81.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the show this week we will replay one of my favorite episodes from 2017. It is called Tales from Development Hell. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

June 21 – RAS #333 – Growing Up!
June 28 – RAS #334 – Mason Henry Blue
July 05 – RAS #335 – The Adolphus Bride
July 12 – RAS #336 – Replay Episode #291
July 19 – RAS #337 – Growing Up 2!
July 26 – RAS #338 – Detective Week