True or False with Frank Sinatra

Q1 – Frank Sinatra was born December 12, 1915  in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants. He almost died at birth.

True – Frank almost died during childbirth – the doctor had trouble removing the 13 ½ pound baby Frank from his mother, scarring him with forceps and puncturing his eardrum. Frank’s grandmother, Rose, noticed the baby wasn’t breathing and held him under cold running water until he finally began to breathe. Because of his eardrum he would not be allowed to serve in the military.

Q2 – Amazing as it sounds Franks Sinatra and Bing Crosby never met.

False – Frank knew he had to be a singer after seeing Bing Crosby live at Loew’s Journal Square in New Jersey. Also, he first appeared on-screen with his hero Bing Crosby in the 1956 movie High Society, which also marked Grace Kelly’s final performance before she became Princess of Monaco.

Q3 – Sinatra had his first musical break with local music group The Hoboken Four in 1935, winning the popular Major Bowes and His Original Amateur Hour radio contest.

True – After his radio success he was able to sign a contracts. in the swing era, with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. The rest was history and he went on to sell 150 million records worldwide.

Q4 – Frank Sinatra was not allowed to entertain the troops for most of World War II.

True – He did travelled to Europe to entertain the U.S.O. troops during World War II in 1945, with Phil Silvers. However, the FBI prevented Frank from traveling on previous tours. Briefly, there were rumors reported by columnist Walter Winchell that Sinatra paid $40,000 to avoid the service, but the FBI found this to be without merit.

Q5 – Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped and held for ransom in December of 1963.

True – Frank Sr. paid a ransom of $240,000 to free the then 19 year-old Frank Jr. from kidnappers. After being held for several days, Frank Jr. was released safely. The FBI eventually caught the kidnappers and recovered most of the ransom money.

Q6 – Sinatra never did as much as people thought. In truth he really had just a few hit songs and made two movies (High Society and From Here to Eternity).

False – Whoa, that was really false! He performed on more than 1,400 recordings in a 6-decade career, appeared in more than 60 films, and produced 8 movies. He actually won an Academy Award for, From Here to Eternity, he starred in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), and received critical acclaim for his performance in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). The awards and accolades are too many to list here. You can go to this page to learn more.

Q7 – Frank Sinatra raised millions of dollars for his work with various charities.

False – Throughout his life, Frank Sinatra raised more than one billion dollars for charities around the world. How about that?!

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have something special from Frank Sinatra, have a story about a terrible murder committed in the 1940’s and much more! You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it 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:

June 29 – C-Chute – (RAS290)
July 06 – Replay Cypherus Canyon With Jim Harold
July 13 – Tale From Development Hell – (RAS291)
July 20 – Stagecoach Stop – (RAS292)
July 27 – The Black Dahlia – (RAS293)
August 03 – RAS294 or HE16?

True or False with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

I remember as a kid sitting down on Saturday night to watch a local program called Adventure Theater. It played great old movies like Robin Hood, The Exile, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Ivanhoe. It was a treat to see these films from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s.  One of the frequent actors on the program was Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  In memory of that and to have some fun, lets play true or false with the man.

Q1 – In the days of silent films, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (1883-1939) was the king of dramatic actors. He surged across American motion picture screens performing dangerous stunts such as jumping from one high balcony to another or swinging by a rope from an old pirate ship. Fairbanks was an expert swordsman and handler of guns, a fine athlete, and managed to win the hand of the leading lady with perfect manners in almost every film he made.

False – Well, actually that is very true but that description belongs to Douglas Fairbanks Sr. our target’s father. I have watched a few of those silent films that the man truly was a marvel.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.Q2 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was born in New York City, the only child of actor Douglas Fairbanks and his first wife, Anna Beth Sully. His parents divorced when he was nine years old, and both remarried. He lived with his mother in New York, California, Paris and London.

True – Yep, that is our guy, and for the record he is no less amazing than his father.

Q3 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was a war hero?

True – For his part in planning the amphibious assault on Southern France, Lieutenant Commander Fairbanks was awarded the United States Navy’s Legion of Merit with bronze V (for valor), the Italian War Cross for Military Valor, the French Légion d’honneur, the Croix de guerre with Palm, and the British Distinguished Service Cross. Fairbanks was also awarded the Silver Star for valor displayed while serving on U.S. PT boats. Fairbanks stayed in the US Naval Reserve after the war and ultimately retired as a Captain in 1954.

Q4 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was married to Joan Crawford?

True – His first notable relationship was with the actress Joan Crawford, whom he began to date seriously during the filming of Our Modern Maidens. Fairbanks and Crawford married on June 3, 1929 at St. Malachi in New York City. Fairbanks was only 19, and Crawford was four years older.

Q5 – Fairbanks has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame?

False – Fairbanks has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, one for television and, one for radio. In 1969 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Best Dressed List.

Q6 – Douglas FairBanks Jr. was buried with his dad.

True – On the morning of May 7, 2000, Fairbanks died at the age of 90 of a heart attack and was interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, in the same tomb as his father.

There you have it. A short but look at the life and times of one of Hollywood’s best.  If you want to know more about the Fairbanks Family Museum Website.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have a tribute to Douglas Fairbanks. We also have a listener’s story all the way from Inverness, Scotland. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it 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:

May 04 – Fairbanks Special – (RAS284)
May 11 – Suspense – (RAS285)
May 18 – Three listeners tales revisited – (RAS286)
May 25 – The Horror Express #16
June 01 – (RAS287)

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)