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.