True or False with Louis Armstrong

Time to play America’s favorite game, True or False with Louis Armstrong. How well do you know that great trumpeter and band leader? Is he just another name to you? -or- have you heard those sweet baritone notes before. Well, we are going to take a minute and review some highlights of the man. Are you ready for True or False with Louis Armstrong.

Q1 – Let’s start with some true facts

Louis ArmstrongTrue – Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo and Pops, was an American jazz musician. Armstrong was a charismatic, innovative performer whose created the artform known as improvised soloing. He was one of the most famous jazz musicians of the 20th century.

Q2 – Louis was a trumpet player

False – Well, it is also true. He first achieved fame as a cornet player, later on switching to trumpet. What is the difference? They both play the same notes and they sound virtually the same. In appearance, the trumpet looks a bit longer and more slender than a cornet. The real difference has to do with the way the tubing of the instrument flares. A cornet is more cone shaped or conical than a trumpet.

Q3 – Louis Armstrong was born on July 4, 1900?

False – Armstrong often stated in public interviews that he was born on July 04, 1900 (Independence Day in the USA), a date that has been noted in many biographies. Although he died in 1971, it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that his true birthdate of August 4th, 1901 was discovered through the examination of baptismal records.

Q3 – Louis learn to play in a band called The Colored Waifs.

False – Armstrong first learned to play in the band of the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he had been sent multiple times for general delinquency. His big crime? He fired his stepfather’s pistol into the air at a New Year’s Eve celebration. (Police records confirm this).

Q4 – Louis Armstrong was Jewish?

True – His parents abandoned him early on in life and he was raised by the Karnofskys, a Russian-Jewish immigrant family. To express gratitude towards the Karnofskys, Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life.

Q5 – Louis Armstrong attended the University of New Orleans?

False – Armstrong played on the riverboats of New Orleans with the well-regarded band of Fate Marable which toured on a steamboat up and down the Mississippi River. He described his time with Marable as “going to the University,” since it gave him a much wider experience working with written arrangements.

Q6 – Armstrong owes his success to Joe “King” Oliver.

True –  Joe “King” Oliver was a mentor and father figure to the young musician. In 1919, Joe Oliver resigned his position in Kid Ory’s band, then regarded as the best jazz group in New Orleans, and left town. Armstrong replaced his mentor, playing second trumpet. Louis soon was promoted to first trumpet. The rest is history.

There you have it some facts about the man, the myth, that is Louis Armstrong. I hope you enjoyed this little trip into the past.  You can learn more about his life on his Bio Page on Biography.Com.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have an eclectic group of stories that should tickle your funnybone, mystify you and make you say “umm what?” You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

February 23 – Cops and Robbers – (RAS #277)
March 02 – Old Time Horror VI – Replay
March 09 – Tribute to Louis Armstrong (RAS #278)
March 16 – (RAS #279)
March 23 – (RAS #280)
March 30 – The Horror Express #15?

True or False with Detective Week

This is detective week here at Ron’s Amazing Stories and I thought it might be fun to look at some facts about the profession. A lot of people think of the detective as being a lost art. After taking this quiz I think you will have changed your mind. So grab a coffee, or your favorite drink and get ready to play, True or False.

Q1 – Let’s start Detective Week with the truth.

A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. Some are private persons, and may be known as private investigators.

Q2 – The Term, “Private Eye” refers to a Pinkerton detective?

TrueAllan Pinkerton, in 1850, was the first detective of the Chicago Police Department and in 1851 was the founder of, the Pinkerton Detective Agency. He created the motto, “The Eye That Never Sleeps”, that was shortened to simply “private eyes”.

Q3 – While the Pinkertons were pretty early they were not the first private investigators.

True – Before the 1800s, there were few municipal police departments. The first private agency was founded by Eugène Vidocq in Paris in the early 1800s. Police detective activities were pioneered in England by the Bow Street Runners, and the first police detective unit in the United States was formed in 1846 in Boston.

Q4 – The origin of the word Detective is found the latin Dict?

False – Nope! When Edgar Allen Poe wrote the story, The Murders in The Rue Morgue, in 1841 the word detective did not even exist! So a latin origin is highly unlikely. For the record Dict means, to speak.

Q5 – There are currently 182,000 police detectives in the united states?

False – There are approximately 883,600 people employed as a Police and Detectives. Yeah I was surprised by that number too!

Well there you have it. A few facts about the detective. I have said it before and I will say again. I love a good mystery and when it is coupled with a hard boiled detective – color me content.  Thanks for reading!


This Week’s Podcast:

This is detective week on the podcast and we have two stories. Ever wonder how real cops work? Find out on Cops and Robbers. Also, we have a story from Nick Carter Private Detective. You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

January 26 – The Horror Express #14
February 02 – The Jayhawkers – (RAS #274)
February 09 – Dateline: Lisbon – (RAS #275)
February 16 – Four Amazing Stories – (RAS #276)
February 23 – Detective Week – (RAS #277)

True or False with Frederik Pohl

We begin yet another Science Fiction week, and this time we focus on Frederik Pohl. Pohl has done just about everything that it is possible in the field of science fiction. But, has he done everything that I am about to tell you? It is time for another round of True or False and this time we focus on sci-fi fan, poet, critic, literary agent, teacher, editor and, of course writer, Frederik George Pohl Jr.

Frederick PohlQ1 – We start with a Frederik Pohl Truth?

True – Frederik Pohl was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years. His first published work was in 1937 with a poem titled, Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna. His last full novel called, All the Lives He Lead, was published in 2011. He did not stop there however, and continued writing until 2013.  

Q2 – Despite his amazing career Pohl was never inducted into Science Fiction Hall of Fame?

False – Come on now we are talking about one of the most amazing writers in history. He was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998. He was put in its third round of inductees of two dead and two living writers. He was one of live ones.  For the record Pohl has won or been nominated for just every writer’s award possible. His wins are too numerous to list here.

Q3 – Despite Pohl’s view of the future he never had much to do with modern technology?

False – The guy was amazing! Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, “The Way the Future Blogs“. He was true science fiction fanatic! If you are interest you can still read his blogs today.

Q4 – Pohl loved to Teach and to Lecture?

True – Apart from the field of science fiction, he is a noted lecturer and teacher in the area of future studies. He also collaborated with Isaac Asimov on the text, The Last Theorem in 2008, which Sir Arthur C. Clarke calls “perhaps the most important book either of its authors has produced.”

Q5 – Frederik Pohl was a member of the U.S. State Department?

False – However, he did travel to lecture on behalf of the State Department in places such as Singapore, New Zealand and most of the countries of both Eastern and Western Europe.  

Q6 – Frederik Pohl is alive and well today?

False – No matter how much we wish it was true, Pohl passed quietly in a hospital September 2, 2013. Leaving us a legacy that could quite possibly never be matched. He was 93 and still working on the projects he so dearly loved. He was survived by his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Anne Hull, who is a past president of the Science Fiction Research Association and a noted scholar in the field in her own right.

This Week’s Podcast:

On week #3 of science fiction week we have not one, but two stories written by the great Frederik Pohl. Both are amazing and both won awards for the prolific writer. We will of course full out the show with lots of other fun stuff.  You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

January 05 – The Seventh Victim – (RAS #271)
January 12 – To The Future – (RAS #272)
January 19 – Pohl Stories – (RAS #273)
January 26 – The Horror Express #14
February 02 – (RAS #274)

True or False with Raymond Burr

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Stories “the blog” we look at Raymond Burr. Who was he? Why Was he? We will attempt to fill your brains with knowledge, which is power! How will we do it? Let’s play, True or False with Raymond William Stacy Burr.

Raymond Burr
Raymond Burr publicity shot from 1960. Probably taken for his series Perry Mason.

Q1 – We start with the Burr Truth.

TRUE – Raymond William Stacy Burr was a Canadian-American actor, primarily known for his title roles in the television dramas Perry Mason and Ironside. He was prominently involved in multiple charitable endeavors, such as working on behalf of the United Service Organizations (USO).

Q2 – Raymond Burr’s early acting career usually depicted him as the villain.

True – His portrayal of the suspected murderer in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Rear Window is his best-known film role. There was no doubt that he was not a good person in that one. There were many other roles in radio, television and on stage that made it quite clear Burr had no problems being bad.

Q3 – Burr was handy to have around since like his character, Perry Mason, he was a bar certified lawyer.

False – Not only was the star not a lawyer, but Burr said himself that he never attended high school. However, he did take courses at Long Beach Junior College, Stanford, and the University of California. He was a benefactor of legal education, and in June 1973, The Raymond Burr Award for Excellence in Criminal Law was established in his honor.

Q4 – TV Guide lists Raymond Burr as one of its greats?

True – In 1996, Burr was listed as one of the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time by TV Guide. He was ranked #41. Also, a 2014 study found that Burr was rated as the most favorite actor by Netflix users, with the greatest number of dedicated microgenres. Other accolades include: He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6656 Hollywood Blvd, received six Emmy nominations, won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and In 2008, The Canadian Post issued a postage stamp in its “Canadians in Hollywood” series featuring Burr.

Q7 – Raymond Burr was married three times?

False – His official biography stated that he had been married three times, but two of his wives and one child had died. However, these details were fabricated in an attempt to hide the fact that Burr was gay. Only one brief marriage had actually occurred, and it had ended in divorce. The other two marriages and the child were fiction.

Q6 – Raymond Burr was offered the role as Matt Dillon on the TV version of Gunsmoke.

False – He was considered for the role of Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke. The show’s first producer Charles Warren recalled, “His voice was fine, but he was too big. When he stood up, his chair stood up with him”. William Conrad, who played Matt Dillon on radio, was rejected for the TV version for similar reasons. In a memorial article in TV Guide published shortly after Burr’s death, the original producers of Perry Mason almost rejected Burr for that role, again because Burr was overweight. He went on an intensive diet to get down to a size acceptable to the producers.

Raymond Burr – May 21, 1917 to September 12, 1993 Geyserville, California.

There you have the truth and fiction of Raymond Burr. To me he will always be Perry Mason. I remember as a kid faking being sick just to see repeats of that show at noon. My mom would bring my soup in and I would relish in one of Perry’s unsolvable cases. My thanks to the man and his incredible talent.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the show this week we have a mysterious death by poison, a western starring Raymond Burr and short tale from O-Henry! You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

October 27 – Old Time Horror VI – (RAS264)
November 03 – The WaxWork – (RAS265)
November 10 – The Buffalo Hunter – (RAS266)
November 17 – (RAS267)
November 24 – Thanksgiving Replay 2016
December 01 – The Horror Express #13

True or False with Mark Twain

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Stories the blog we look at Mark Twain Who was he? Why Was he? We will attempt to fill your brains with knowledge.  How will we do it? Let’s play, True or False with Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain).

Q1 – Let’s Start with a Mark Twain Truth

TRUE – Mark Twain, was an American writer, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). The latter is often referred to as “The Great American Novel“.

Q2 – Mark Twain was a riverboat pilot?

TRUE – He served on many boats navigating the Mississippi River. He did this until he got the call to join his brother Orion in Nevada and the newspaper business.

Q3 – He wrote the story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, while working the rivers of the Mississippi?

FALSE – In 1865, his humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County“, was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers.

Q4 – Mark Twain was a very rich man?

FALSE – Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks, he filed for protection from his creditors via bankruptcy, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles.

Q5 – Mark Twain predicted his own death?

TRUE – Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet, and he died the day after the comet returned, which was April 21, 1910.

I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet.  – Mark Twain

He was lauded as the “greatest American humorist of his age”, and William Faulkner called Twain “the father of American literature”. No matter how you view him, he was one of America’s greatest treasures and his words are still around today.

I leave you with this famous quote: Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter – Mark Twain

This Week’s Podcast:

This week’s show is a jam packed. We open with a woman who can’t button a suit, ride with Marshall Dillon on stagecoach loaded with criminals and end with learning a thing or two about sleeping in your own bed. You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

July 21,2016 – Glenn Miller Week (RAS252)
July 28,2016 – Hallucination Orbit (RAS253)
August 04, 2016 – Maddened By Mystery (RAS254)
August 11, 2016 – Jim Harold’s Trip to Cypress Canyon (RAS255)
August 18, 2016 – Gunsmoke Returns (RAS256)
August 25, 2016 – A Gumshoe’s Mission (RAS257)