200 Celebrities Who Changed Their Names on Amazon today!

Just yesterday I gave the approval to release my truly unique new book, 200 Celebrities Who Changed Their Names and How they Found Success. I anticipated an Amazon posting by Monday, August 3rd. I checked this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find it already available there! What is so different about this book? Everything! There is not even a similar book available on Amazon. It also has photos of the entrants.

When I began my search for celebrities which had changed their names I was curious as to why so many would do so. There were not only movie stars, musicians, sports figures and authors, there were entrepreneurs, comedians, broadcasters and others who were looking to create a persona with which they could obtain success.I want to mention a few examples of what I found. I am only using brief excerpts from the text of each, with some changes for clarity.

Louis Burton Lindley, Jr. was born in Kingsbury, California and his dad was a dairy farmer.  Bored in his early teens he began making money riding broncs and roping steers. Against his father’s will, he went to compete in a rodeo where the manager told him there would be “slim pickin’s” for him. To keep his father from finding out that he was competing he entered his name as Slim Pickens and won $400 that day.

Born in Horfield, Bristol, UK, Archibald Alexander Leach was the only surviving child of a pants presser father and had an unhappy childhood. Due to the death of a previous child, his mother suffered from clinical depression, and his father put her in a mental institution when Archie was nine, telling him that she was on a long holiday. He later was told that she had died, and his father remarried and had a new family without him. Only at his age 32 did his father, near his death, confess that she was still living. We know him as Cary Grant

Eleanora Fagan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to unwed parents.By age 11 she dropped out of school. One day her mother found a neighbor trying to rape her, and had him arrested. Eleanora was then sent back to the reform school. After her release at not quite 12 she got a job running errands at a brothel, and was listening to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith records. She joined her mother in Harlem working as a prostitute. The brothel was raided and both were sent to prison.  She was released at 14. She started singing, taking her stage name from Billie Dove, an actress she admired, and her probable father. She went on to become one of the most influential jazz and blues singers of her time as Billie Holiday.

Phoebe Ann Mosey was born to Quaker parents in a log cabin in Darke County, Ohio. Her father died at her age 5 and Annie began hunting at 8. Because of poverty and her father’s death Annie was placed in an infirmary at age 9, and had little schooling in childhood. She was soon bound out to a family who kept her in near slavery, mentally and physically abusing her. 2 years later she ran away. She continued hunting and selling game to restaurants. At 15 she returned to her mother and paid off her mortgage. She became famous in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show as Annie Oakley.

But let’s not ruin the book! Buy your copy today on Amazon for only $14.95.

Why did so many celebrities change their names?

Like wondering about where so many catch phrases came from which led to the writing of my best-selling book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, I wondered for a long time why so many stars in entertainment and sports take stage names and authors often take pen names. So…o…o…o I started my search for those who had and found that there had been countless cases over the past 200 years. I couldn’t use them all, so I selected 200 which I felt had interesting stories to tell. Some of them I have personal, family, friend or business connections to.

I found that at least 20 featured entertainers who took stage names were from Jewish immigrant families. Many were impoverished; some were abused; several were forced to work as young children to help pay family bills. Many were from broken homes, and some never knew their biological fathers, often being placed in foster care. One worked as a prostitute, one a bootlegger; another was a drug dealer. Several were jailed. One was expelled from school and many were dropouts. How did these broken individuals climb to the top of their professions? It took dogged determination and encouragement, and likely, a new name.

The book  will be out very soon. In this pictorial book of trivia, one unique feature is that I include popular actors, singers, dancers, authors, sports figures, magicians, entrepreneurs, broadcasters, models and others who longed to create a public persona which he or she felt was worthy of his or her audience, revealing the circumstances and reasons behind the changes and how they built the public perceptions which took them up the ladder of success. I have been very selective in order to provide a variety of intriguing personalities and stories of overcoming adversity.

It’s called 200 Celebrities Who Changed Their Names and How They Found Success. I’ll let you know when it is available. Meanwhile, visit stclairpublications.com for a lot of great books by many good authors.

Love is the Key to Survival

My father was a democrat and my mother was a republican. I have lived in both the North and the South. I have friends who are liberal and friends who are conservative. I am neither a Socialist nor a Nazi; neither an extreme left winger or extreme right winger. Does this mean I am apolitical or that I have no religious beliefs? Certainly not. I hold all truth to be in high value. But I am open minded and fair, and hate and dissention will never bring America or the world, together. I don’t think we have to fight each other to bring peace. But I believe that we can co-exist by being civil and showing love and compassion to all persons of all faiths, religions and political convictions. I am a follower of Christ, but don’t agree with all who call themselves Christian. A big problem in any society is extremists who attempt to force their ideas on others. Lives speak volumes. Loving all humanity and all creatures and even our earth which gives new life each year is the key. What part of LOVE ONE ANOTHER do we not understand? So let us pray for peace, not only in our world, but in the hearts of men. The actual declaration by the messengers (angels) declared in the biblical account at the birth of Jesus was, “Peace on earth to men of good will.” Let’s be men and women of good will so long as this age continues, which will usher us into a better life now and forever.

Ron Cunningham: A Tribute to a Great American

This past Thursday I was taken aback and very saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Ron Cunningham. Since I met him at a Scottish event in April, 2009, we have been very close. Right away, before even getting to know me Ron purchased one of my books and told me a little about his harrowing experiences as a small town sheriff in the late 1970s and how a contract out on his life brought in experts with the FBI, TBI and US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Information gathered in the FBI sting further incriminated the past Tennessee Governor, already under investigation, and got the present governor involved in the process. Right on the heels of the Buford Pusser saga which was made into the major motion picture, Walking Tall, he was sought after by the press and Hollywood wanting rights. He denied all at the time. Ron felt that the time had come and the story should be told. He came to my home and we made an agreement to co-write his story. The initial book, Conspiracy in the Town That TIme Forgot  was my first book to be heralded as an Amazon Hot New Release when it came out in October that year. He and I traveled around the region and even out of state on book signings. Two were at campuses of Motlow State Community College, which carried it in their bookstores and libraries and recommended it to Criminal Justice students. It was carried in several regional bookstores and other places of business, even some in other states. He and I co-wrote two more books and have spent a great deal of time together, During most of this time he was serving as Captain over investigations for the city of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Ron has treated me like a brother, having me take part in several family events.


Due to the fact that his wife, Linda, was in Guatemala at the time of his passing, services have been put off until next weekend. I salute Ron, and his wife and three daughters have lost a great example of American fortitude and courage. He will be dearly missed by so many that I cannot begin to say. Our books are still available at stclairpublications.com and on Amazon and other bookseller websites around the world.

Upon what should our minds dwell?

I have written easy-going metric poetry since my youth. I was influenced by such people as Lewis Carroll and Nathaniel Hawthorn, though I enjoyed the likes of Poe. I just wrote a poem which I wanted to share. Sometimes I think we get so serious about life that we don’t enjoy the good things.


I realize our turtles are rightly tortoises,

I know that our rabbits are hares.

It’s true that our blackbirds are starlings,

But Darling, I don’t really care.


I know that today was tomorrow yesterday,

And that we will never move to there—

The future is a mist we all must wander through,

But frankly my dear, I don’t care.


It is only for Love that we should live our lives,

Some days are murky; others fair.

As for the trifling angst of pampering everyone,

Frankly I have learned not to care.

6-24-15, 7-8-15

For more such verses look up my books, Reflections on LIfe and I Walked My Dog This Morning. They’re both on Amazon.


Another Comic Strip Salutes a Proverb

As many of you know, I love reading the “intelligence page” (another cliche) of our local paper. Now that we’ve been subscribing for the past several months, I even glance at the small ones on the puzzle page. This morning The Born Loser, one of my favorite strips, had Thornapple saying to his wife, “They say an apple a day keeps the doctor a day, right?” Then he says, “So, what would happen if I ate two apples a day?”

His wife’s expression remained nonchalant as she replied, “You’d get diarrhea.”

The origin of this well-known proverb is found in Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions on page 25:

 apple a day keeps the doctor away, An

Reference to this was initially found in a Welsh folk proverb.”Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from eating his bread.” The phrase was first coined as we know it in the U.S. in 1913 by Elizabeth Wright in Rustic Speech and Folk-lore

“Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, An’ you’ll make the doctor beg his bread; or as the more popular version runs: An apple a day Keeps the doctor away.” 

Sales of this popular book continue each and every month, Get yours today at



Exploring Our Exciting World Book 8: Europe is Out!

Well, finally, for  those of you have been waiting for the Europe volume to be released, it is now out! Like some of our other recent releases, it’s not on our site yet, but it is on Amazon. Contributors to the true adventures in this one are Dee Hall, a familiar name from the East Asia book, and author of children’s book, Can You Imagine? Cyndi Wallace-Murphy, wife of author Tim Wallace-Murphy and a gifted writer in her own right, now living in the South of France, Terri Thomas St. Clair, author of the Mountains trilogy of Christian romance novels, and blogger and webmaster from the island of Corsica, Pamela St. Clair Naylon. It is full of exciting first-hand information about first-rate spots in selected European countries!

Here is a description:

This volume, BOOK 8, Europe, is the third to be released due to completion and availability of material. Places featured include Rosslyn Chapel, pictured on front cover, which was prominent in The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown which was a 2006 blockbuster Ron Howard film starring Tom Hanks; Sterling Castle; the Cave of William Wallace; the Reykjavík Summit House (Iceland) in which President Reagan and Russia’s Mikhail Gorbachev met; Iceland’s volcano, Eldfell, which erupted in 1973; the Leaning Tower of Pizza, Italy; the Roman Coliseum; the Vatican; Old Town Tallinn, Estonia; Michelangelo’s David statue with two replicas, one in Italy and one in London; Hampton Court and the Tower of London; Rennes les Chateau and the French Languedoc; Espéraza and the Pyrenees; the Catacombs at Palermo, Sicily; unique resorts on the Mediterranean island of Corsica; the Swiss Alps ; the Castle of King Ludwig II, Chiemsee Lake, Bavaria, Germany and much more.

Get yours today for only $12.50 on Amazon.com.

The Incomparible James Horner Dies in Plane Crash

Many times when I have enjoyed immensely the score of a motion picture I have watched the credits to confirm that the composer was none other than James Horner. I consider him the best classical motion picture score composer of all time. I was shocked and deeply saddened this just minutes ago while watching CBS This Morning to learn of his death in a plane crash near Santa Barbara yesterday.

Horner, a humble genius, composed the sound tracks for so many great films over the past three decades that I can’t begin to mention them all. He won two Oscars for his efforts. Among them were A Field of Dreams, Brave Heart, Apollo 13, Aliens, A Beautiful Minds, the Star Trek movies, and what I consider his crowning achievement, Titanic, even co-writing the Celine Dion smash hit, My Heart Will Go On. The Titanic soundtrack was the best selling of all time–27 million copies sold worldwide!

James Horner was the greatest! He will be sorely missed, not only in Hollywood, but by millions who loved his music around the world.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

This saying goes back to a song by that title released in early 1964. A detailed entry is found on pages 315 and 316 of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions.

Great reviews keep coming in on Amazon for this book. I am very grateful. Yesterday there were two new ones. One I was expecting because I had been told it was coming. The other one, like many of these reviews was totally “Out of the blue,” (page 413- from 1837). Both showed five out of five stars. I’m posting them here:

ByKathy A Barneyon June 16, 2015
Rarely a book like this comes along that becomes a staple, no, necessity, in your library. This book should be on your bedside table for fascinating reading and not just on your “bucket list” of things to do or get. Remember the game Trivial Pursuit? This is the embodiment of a published version of everything–and I mean everything–you need to know of the origins of everyday expressions that have become part of the fabric that make up the language of our society. I feel as if this book was written expressly for me, to my utter delight, as a trivia fan and a life-long knowledge hound! The author has done such a thorough job of researching, I would trust no other. Many of the expressions come as delightful surprises to me and provoke thoughts of the human language as it has evolved–or not! through the centuries.

Reading this book automatically makes you more interesting and knowledgeable than any other Joe or Josephine in the room and is a great ice breaker. Who knew you knew the origin of “living high on the hog?”

What surpised me the most is that these phrases are not as old or ancient as one would think. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly reccommed it to everybody and “strike while the iron is hot!”

CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
By Robelias Miller on June 16, 2015
As a review comment, I will copy for you the first paragraph of a 250-word email that I sent to the author of this book.

Dear Mr. St. Clair,
Your magnificent book “Most Comprehensive Origins of Clichés, Proverbs, and Figurative Expressions” was indeed a pleasure for me to read. It’s so thorough on those specific topics. I especially appreciate your massive bibliography, which indicates lots of detailed research work.

Note: I didn’t get the email from Mr. Miller,so I don’t know where he sent it, but I looked him up online and he is a retired Professional Editor, and I’m sending him a letter of thanks.

Bird Watching Can Be Rewarding

I’ve made posts here before about how much I enjoy bird watching. It started when I was a pre-teen and joined the Audubon Society to receive all of the books from which I could chart and stick in pictures off all the beautiful varieties of songbirds in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina where I was brought up. Here in the Cumberlands of Tennessee there are much the same feathered friends. I got away from bird watching as a regular sport as I grew up and got into the hustle and bustle of life in the fast lane. Now that I am retired from running a multi-state insurance agency, I can take my time writing and publishing and once again enjoy the beauty of nature which surrounds me.

As I mentioned on previous posts, I have spotted, and even view close up numerous birds from a Golden Hawk and a Kestrel to a seemingly really out-of-place Blue Heron.

This spring a pair of Cardinals nested and hatched young in a bush at the front of our house. There are plenty of Robins, Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, Starlings and Wrens about all the time. Lately I’ve been seeing a Wood Thrush apparently making its abode in our massive maple behind our house. I love the simple things in life.

I guess that’s why I still enjoy reading a good book (the old fashioned kind when you have to turn actual pages). We have a lot of them on our website at stclairpublications.com and Amazon has most of them in both paperback and the electronic version enjoyed by so many nowadays. Whatever your “cup of tea” is you’ll likely find it in the pages of one of our books!

So for those who, like me,like the simple things in life, you can enjoy the beauty of nature and the reading of a great book!