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How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:05 am

This article from the Jewish Daily Forward, with an unseen, circa 1953 photo, appeared online recently.

It's a part of his life unknown until beautifully written about by Elaine Dundy back in 1985, and later again by Peter Guralnick. Although the writers reference the reviled Albert Goldman biography two times too many, it is still a very neat read.

Was Elvis influenced by cantorial greats like Yossele Rosenblatt and Moishe Oysher? Dokh, all signs point to yes.

Enjoy!


How Elvis Presley Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor
Before He Was the King, He Was a Shabbos Goy

By Anne Cohen and Sigal Samuel
Monday, September 08, 2014


Elvis-main.jpg
(Kurt Hoffman)


In the summer of 1954, Elvis Presley released his first single. He had one problem: He couldn’t play it.

The aspiring 19-year-old singer was living with his parents at 462 Alabama Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. With rent at $50 a month, his family was too poor to afford a record player. So, as he often did, Elvis turned to his upstairs neighbors for help — Rabbi Alfred Fruchter and Jeannette Fruchter, his wife.

“He asked to borrow our record player. Mom said: ‘Elvis, you’re in luck. We’re going away for the whole summer, so you can have it,’” their son, Harold Fruchter, recounted.

Harold Fruchter has only dim memories of having Elvis Presley as a downstairs neighbor. But he does know that Elvis was the first person to carry him up the steps, just days after he was born, in July 1952. According to family lore, when Jeanette Fruchter came home from the hospital, Elvis ran down and said, “Mrs. Fruchter, may I have the honor of carrying your newborn upstairs?”

“Our addresses were the same, which means my birth certificate has Elvis’s address on it, which is pretty cool,” Harold Fruchter said.

Though the Fruchters left Memphis in 1955, their brief brush with the King left an indelible mark. Until her death, Jeannette Fruchter spoke of “the nicest boy you could ever hope to meet” with tears in her eyes. When he graduated from L.C. Humes High School in 1953, she was there with a gift: Elvis’s first pair of cufflinks. Black onyx, to be exact.

The two families were close. Gladys Presley, Elvis’s mother, sat down most afternoons after work to chat with Jeannette Fruchter. When the Presleys were short on money, the Fruchters helped pay their electric and water bills. And Elvis Presley even acted as a Shabbos goy for the family, turning on the lights and gas stove for “Sir Rabbi,” as he called Alfred Fruchter. Years later, the musician would explain his relationship with the Fruchters to his security guards at a concert that Alfred Fruchter attended. Albert Goldman’s 1981 biography, “Elvis,” quotes him as saying: “Oh, we used to live underneath him on Alabama Street. He was really nice to me, he’d loan me money, and sometimes he’d ask me to turn on the lights for him on Saturday.”

It’s no accident that these two families ended up neighbors. Mirroring a trend seen across the South, the Fruchters, like many Jewish families, initially settled in poorer downtown areas before eventually acquiring the means to move out to the suburbs. (Both the Fruchters and the Presleys paid rent to a Mrs. Dubrovner, the wife of a kosher butcher.) It’s a trajectory encapsulated by Memphis’s largest congregation, Baron Hirsch. Originally located in “the Pinch,” the downtown core of immigrant communities, the community moved first to Midtown in the late 1950s and then to lush East Memphis, where it now draws up to 1,000 worshippers on the High Holy Days.


alabama-street-today.jpg
Alabama Street today (Anne Cohen)


In fact, 462 Alabama Avenue no longer exists. In its place stands a new apartment complex boasting “smart — sexy — style.” Run-down single-story homes still stand nearby, and across the street trucks rumble along the highway.

The Fruchters moved to Memphis in the late 1940s when Alfred Fruchter became the first principal at the Memphis (now Margolin) Hebrew Academy, which he helped found partly in response to communal anxiety about intermarriage and lack of Jewish education. His children say he served as principal for three years without pay.

The Presleys moved to Memphis from Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1948, when Elvis was 13. Having made only $1,915 the year before, according to Vernon and Gladys Presley’s combined income tax return, the family lived in rooming houses for nearly a year before settling on Alabama Street. At school, Elvis struggled in several classes — notably music, for which he earned a C, as his eighth-grade report card shows. When his parents bought him a guitar for his 11th birthday, he was upset; he had wanted a bicycle. Famously, he never learned to read music. But according to Goldman’s biography, he did benefit from early exposure to the masters — of Jewish cantorial music. While many, including The New York Times, have scoffed at the idea that Elvis’s music may have been influenced by cantorial greats like Yossele Rosenblatt and Moishe Oysher, Jeannette Fruchter made the case for it in a 1997 interview with The Baltimore Sun. “My husband listened to his records every Sunday, with the windows open, because it was so hot in Memphis, and you could hear them all over,” she said.


with-fruchters.jpg
Neighbors: Elvis sits beside the young David and Debbie Fruchter (Harold Fruchter)


But her husband was far from convinced. “Dad was so upset by that,” Harold Fruchter remembered. “He said, ‘How could you think that Elvis’s music was anything like great cantorial music?’”

In fact, the Fruchters were stunned at how successful their young neighbor became.

“My parents didn’t expect him to become famous,” Judy, Harold’s sister, said. “They thought he had a nice voice, but they didn’t think it was exceptional.”

That “nice” voice sure bought Presley a “nice” house.

The singer bought Graceland at age 22. Today, the mansion receives more than 600,000 visitors a year and stands as the enduring symbol of the most famous entertainer of the 20th century. The 13.8-acre property contains 23 rooms, including eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It also features a 15-foot white sofa and floor-to-ceiling stained-glass peacocks in the front living room, a custom-designed indoor waterfall in the “Jungle Room,” a 360-degree mirror-paneled rec room containing three televisions (so that he could watch all three networks at once) and a billiards room where 350 yards of ruche-patterned fabric line the walls and ceiling.


graceland-meditation-garden.jpg
The Presleys’ meditation garden (Anne Cohen)


Out back is the “Lisa Marie.” Named after Elvis’s daughter, the private plane has a fully stocked bar of soft drinks (the King didn’t like alcohol — he preferred Diet Dr Pepper and lime Gatorade), a conference room, a full pullout bed and a bathroom sink covered with flakes of 24-carat gold. The plane was used for spontaneous family outings — like the time Elvis realized his daughter had never seen snow, so he flew to Colorado with her so that she could toss around a snowball or two before heading right back home.

One of Elvis’s more famous contributions to the estate was a meditation garden, where he, his parents and his grandmother Minnie Mae Presley are buried. Watching over them is a looming marble statue of Jesus Christ on the cross, engraved with the name “Presley.”

This impressive monument belies rumors, circulating over the past few years, that Elvis may actually have been halachically Jewish through his maternal great-great grandmother. That thought troubles the current generation of Fruchters.

“All this talk now about Elvis being Jewish — that’s really disturbing,” Judy Fruchter said. “Because if he was Jewish, my father was making him desecrate Shabbat. He’s probably turning in his grave.”

http://forward.com/articles/205079/how-elvis-presley-missed-his-true-calling-as-a/




With thanks to FECC member otto for the inspiration.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:17 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:with an unseen, circa 1952 photo


with-fruchters.jpg


Also, is this the only photograph of Elvis with a pipe?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by mike edwards66 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:19 am

mike edwards66 wrote:Also, is this the only photgraph of Elvis with a pipe?


No, there are others. He loved Bing Crosby very, very much.

But the pipe has nothing to do with this topic. It's worth reading, give it a shot. :smt023

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:21 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
mike edwards66 wrote:Also, is this the only photgraph of Elvis with a pipe?


No, there are others. He loved Bing Crosby very, very much.

But the pipe has nothing to do with this topic. It's worth reading, give it a shot. :smt023


Touchy. I knew you had missed the pipe.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:24 am

mike edwards66 wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:No, there are others. He loved Bing Crosby very, very much.

But the pipe has nothing to do with this topic. It's worth reading, give it a shot. :smt023


Touchy. I knew you had missed the pipe.


No, I did not. It was not germane to the topic.

In fact, there are two pipes in the photo, and there are other photos from this day of Elvis with one, not to mention in the 1970s, one of which I recently posted elsewhere.

Get reading now, and stop trying to derail the topic. Thanks. :smt023
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:25 am

Great read Doc.That last line is a classic!


norrie

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:26 am

norrie wrote:Great read Doc.That last line is a classic!


norrie


You're welcome, norrie.

And you are so right:

“All this talk now about Elvis being Jewish — that’s really disturbing,” Judy Fruchter said. “Because if he was Jewish, my father was making him desecrate Shabbat. He’s probably turning in his grave.”

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:42 am

Already posted here by MikeFromHolland:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=84745

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:02 am

JimmyCool wrote:Already posted ...


Actually, he simply posts a link, I present the entire article, including all the illustrations.

If you read the article you'd know his title is wrong. The Fruchter family left 462 Alabama Avenue in 1955, and I believe the Presleys moved to 2414 Lamar Avenue in late 1954.

As far as this topic, what I do takes more work, but I like to bring such things to this forum. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks. :smt023
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:06 am

I was about to post this, but you beat me to it.

Elvis was a musical melting pot. All kinds of influences. It's fun to surmise that Jewish cantorial singing might have been in the mix.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:07 am

elvisjock wrote:I was about to post this, but you beat me to it.

Elvis was a musical melting pot. All kinds of influences. It's fun to surmise that Jewish cantorial singing might have been in the mix.


It's beyond reproach that Elvis had a democratic musical vision. It's part of how the magic was made.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:39 am

Thank you John. I love the part about the music flowing out of the open windows on Sundays. So Elvis heard the music even before they moved in.

Hard to deny its influence. There are other pieces around making it clear he wanted to listen to those records when he did live there.

Beautiful story. It should be noted that the address is right near the Courts. So, when they left, I guess they had already decided where they would live - with the Fruchters.

It does leave an unanswered question: what might the Rabbi think of The Self-Realization Fellowship?! :o

Thanks again! :)

rjm
P.S. -- I wonder if Harold has ever seen a photo of Gladys Presley's first gravestone, the one with the Star of David on it?

Image

Sent via mobile

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:48 am

rjm wrote:Thank you John. I love the part about the music flowing out of the open windows on Sundays. So Elvis heard the music even before they moved in.

Hard to deny its influence. There are other pieces around making it clear he wanted to listen to those records when he did live there.

Beautiful story. It should be noted that the address is right near the Courts. So, when they left, I guess they had already decided where they would live - with the Fruchters.

It does leave an unanswered question: what might the Rabbi think of The Self-Realization Fellowship?! :o

Thanks again! :)

rjm
P.S. -- I wonder if Harold has ever seen a photo of Gladys Presley's first gravestone, the one with the Star of David on it?

Image

Sent via mobile


Thanks for your always fertile thoughts. Harold should definitely get a look at that Star of David that Elvis explicitly included on his mom's marker.

Or at least read this topic:

"Satnin" --> Most Of All She Cared !
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=80814

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:01 am

Thanks. :)

rjm

Sent via mobile

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:57 am

A very interesting thread, thanks, Doc. It certainly beats the "what if...." threads certain contributors are obsessed with. This one takes little things we already know and expands on them greatly.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:14 pm

mike edwards66 wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:with an unseen, circa 1952 photo


with-fruchters.jpg


Also, is this the only photograph of Elvis with a pipe?

You are such a great contributor to this forum !

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:14 pm

Thanks Doc for the hard work you have put into this topic. Very professionally done!

Judy, Harold’s sister, said. “They thought he had a nice voice, but they didn’t think it was exceptional”.


This must have also been Sam Phillips ' first thoughts also upon hearing that partial recording Marion Keisker taped on July 18, 1953.
Seemed fate had later change his mind to make history.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:42 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:This article from the Jewish Daily Forward, with an unseen, circa 1953 photo, appeared online recently.

It's a part of his life unknown until beautifully written about by Elaine Dundy back in 1985, and later again by Peter Guralnick. Although the writers reference the reviled Albert Goldman biography two times too many, it is still a very neat read.

Was Elvis influenced by cantorial greats like Yossele Rosenblatt and Moishe Oysher? Dokh, all signs point to yes.

Enjoy!


How Elvis Presley Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor
Before He Was the King, He Was a Shabbos Goy

By Anne Cohen and Sigal Samuel
Monday, September 08, 2014


Elvis-main.jpg
(Kurt Hoffman)


In the summer of 1954, Elvis Presley released his first single. He had one problem: He couldn’t play it.

The aspiring 19-year-old singer was living with his parents at 462 Alabama Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. With rent at $50 a month, his family was too poor to afford a record player. So, as he often did, Elvis turned to his upstairs neighbors for help — Rabbi Alfred Fruchter and Jeannette Fruchter, his wife.

“He asked to borrow our record player. Mom said: ‘Elvis, you’re in luck. We’re going away for the whole summer, so you can have it,’” their son, Harold Fruchter, recounted.

Harold Fruchter has only dim memories of having Elvis Presley as a downstairs neighbor. But he does know that Elvis was the first person to carry him up the steps, just days after he was born, in July 1952. According to family lore, when Jeanette Fruchter came home from the hospital, Elvis ran down and said, “Mrs. Fruchter, may I have the honor of carrying your newborn upstairs?”

“Our addresses were the same, which means my birth certificate has Elvis’s address on it, which is pretty cool,” Harold Fruchter said.

Though the Fruchters left Memphis in 1955, their brief brush with the King left an indelible mark. Until her death, Jeannette Fruchter spoke of “the nicest boy you could ever hope to meet” with tears in her eyes. When he graduated from L.C. Humes High School in 1953, she was there with a gift: Elvis’s first pair of cufflinks. Black onyx, to be exact.

The two families were close. Gladys Presley, Elvis’s mother, sat down most afternoons after work to chat with Jeannette Fruchter. When the Presleys were short on money, the Fruchters helped pay their electric and water bills. And Elvis Presley even acted as a Shabbos goy for the family, turning on the lights and gas stove for “Sir Rabbi,” as he called Alfred Fruchter. Years later, the musician would explain his relationship with the Fruchters to his security guards at a concert that Alfred Fruchter attended. Albert Goldman’s 1981 biography, “Elvis,” quotes him as saying: “Oh, we used to live underneath him on Alabama Street. He was really nice to me, he’d loan me money, and sometimes he’d ask me to turn on the lights for him on Saturday.”

It’s no accident that these two families ended up neighbors. Mirroring a trend seen across the South, the Fruchters, like many Jewish families, initially settled in poorer downtown areas before eventually acquiring the means to move out to the suburbs. (Both the Fruchters and the Presleys paid rent to a Mrs. Dubrovner, the wife of a kosher butcher.) It’s a trajectory encapsulated by Memphis’s largest congregation, Baron Hirsch. Originally located in “the Pinch,” the downtown core of immigrant communities, the community moved first to Midtown in the late 1950s and then to lush East Memphis, where it now draws up to 1,000 worshippers on the High Holy Days.


alabama-street-today.jpg
Alabama Street today (Anne Cohen)


In fact, 462 Alabama Avenue no longer exists. In its place stands a new apartment complex boasting “smart — sexy — style.” Run-down single-story homes still stand nearby, and across the street trucks rumble along the highway.

The Fruchters moved to Memphis in the late 1940s when Alfred Fruchter became the first principal at the Memphis (now Margolin) Hebrew Academy, which he helped found partly in response to communal anxiety about intermarriage and lack of Jewish education. His children say he served as principal for three years without pay.

The Presleys moved to Memphis from Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1948, when Elvis was 13. Having made only $1,915 the year before, according to Vernon and Gladys Presley’s combined income tax return, the family lived in rooming houses for nearly a year before settling on Alabama Street. At school, Elvis struggled in several classes — notably music, for which he earned a C, as his eighth-grade report card shows. When his parents bought him a guitar for his 11th birthday, he was upset; he had wanted a bicycle. Famously, he never learned to read music. But according to Goldman’s biography, he did benefit from early exposure to the masters — of Jewish cantorial music. While many, including The New York Times, have scoffed at the idea that Elvis’s music may have been influenced by cantorial greats like Yossele Rosenblatt and Moishe Oysher, Jeannette Fruchter made the case for it in a 1997 interview with The Baltimore Sun. “My husband listened to his records every Sunday, with the windows open, because it was so hot in Memphis, and you could hear them all over,” she said.


with-fruchters.jpg
Neighbors: Elvis sits beside the young David and Debbie Fruchter (Harold Fruchter)


But her husband was far from convinced. “Dad was so upset by that,” Harold Fruchter remembered. “He said, ‘How could you think that Elvis’s music was anything like great cantorial music?’”

In fact, the Fruchters were stunned at how successful their young neighbor became.

“My parents didn’t expect him to become famous,” Judy, Harold’s sister, said. “They thought he had a nice voice, but they didn’t think it was exceptional.”

That “nice” voice sure bought Presley a “nice” house.

The singer bought Graceland at age 22. Today, the mansion receives more than 600,000 visitors a year and stands as the enduring symbol of the most famous entertainer of the 20th century. The 13.8-acre property contains 23 rooms, including eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It also features a 15-foot white sofa and floor-to-ceiling stained-glass peacocks in the front living room, a custom-designed indoor waterfall in the “Jungle Room,” a 360-degree mirror-paneled rec room containing three televisions (so that he could watch all three networks at once) and a billiards room where 350 yards of ruche-patterned fabric line the walls and ceiling.


graceland-meditation-garden.jpg
The Presleys’ meditation garden (Anne Cohen)


Out back is the “Lisa Marie.” Named after Elvis’s daughter, the private plane has a fully stocked bar of soft drinks (the King didn’t like alcohol — he preferred Diet Dr Pepper and lime Gatorade), a conference room, a full pullout bed and a bathroom sink covered with flakes of 24-carat gold. The plane was used for spontaneous family outings — like the time Elvis realized his daughter had never seen snow, so he flew to Colorado with her so that she could toss around a snowball or two before heading right back home.

One of Elvis’s more famous contributions to the estate was a meditation garden, where he, his parents and his grandmother Minnie Mae Presley are buried. Watching over them is a looming marble statue of Jesus Christ on the cross, engraved with the name “Presley.”

This impressive monument belies rumors, circulating over the past few years, that Elvis may actually have been halachically Jewish through his maternal great-great grandmother. That thought troubles the current generation of Fruchters.

“All this talk now about Elvis being Jewish — that’s really disturbing,” Judy Fruchter said. “Because if he was Jewish, my father was making him desecrate Shabbat. He’s probably turning in his grave.”

http://forward.com/articles/205079/how-elvis-presley-missed-his-true-calling-as-a/




With thanks to FECC member otto for the inspiration.


How on earth can we still get new information 37 years after Elvis' death and 60 years after his first recording. Excellent info Doc. Many thanks.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:00 pm

Doc, thanks a lot. This article it's wonderful and very different from many others, I dare to say. Very interesting and challenging.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:39 pm

Tony C wrote:A very interesting thread, thanks, Doc. It certainly beats the "what if...." threads certain contributors are obsessed with. This one takes little things we already know and expands on them greatly.


Thanks. The "new" photo was great fun to see. It must have been a special day to have taken so many. Maybe it was some kind of holiday?

The piece also reminds me I need to revisit Elaine Dundy's thoughtful 1985 book, Elvis and Gladys.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:50 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
JimmyCool wrote:Already posted ...


Actually, he simply posts a link, I present the entire article, including all the illustrations.

If you read the article you'd know his title is wrong. The Fruchter family left 462 Alabama Street in 1955, and I believe the Presleys moved to 2414 Lamar Avenue in late 1954.

As far as this topic, what I do takes more work, but I like to bring such things to this forum. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks. :smt023


You are both right. Love the way you present topics like this, Doc. English is not my first language, so that's why I keep it short most of the time.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:00 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
mike edwards66 wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:with an unseen, circa 1952 photo


Image


Also, is this the only photograph of Elvis with a pipe?

You are such a great contributor to this forum !


Thanks!

::rocks

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:29 pm

promiseland wrote:Thanks Doc for the hard work you have put into this topic. Very professionally done!

Judy, Harold’s sister, said. “They thought he had a nice voice, but they didn’t think it was exceptional”.


This must have also been Sam Phillips ' first thoughts also upon hearing that partial recording Marion Keisker taped on July 18, 1953.
Seemed fate had later change his mind to make history.


Thanks!

Elvis sounded very good on the half-captured by Marion Keisker recording of "My Happiness," but just OK on the fully-captured "That's When Your Heartaches Begin." When he made another visit in January 1954, with Sam Phillips there to watch, he was only OK on both performances. His out-of-tune acoustic was not a help, either. It is fortunate Presley had won Marion over the previous summer. She kept reminding her boss about the "kid with the sideburns."

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:22 pm

Thanks to FECC member Garfield, we now have the uncropped version of the photo originally published above:

Image

With cousin Gene Smith, David and Debbie Fruchter, 462 Alabama Avenue, Memphis - circa April 1953
Photo: Jeanette Fruchter


It popped up here last month:

KCRW Radio "UnFictional" with Bob Carlson - Friday, August 8, 2014

Then… The story of an orthodox Jewish family who lived above Elvis Presley’s family in a house in Memphis. They would often call on teenage Elvis to be their Shabbos Goy - the gentile who would perform "work" that religious Jews did not do while on the Sabbath or day of rest. In return, the Fruchter’s may have unwittingly influenced Elvis’ music.

Produced by Rob Sachs. Additional editing by Bob Carlson.

http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/unfictional/friends-in-high-places



Here is a link to download the KCRW broadcast as an mp3 file:
http://download.kcrw.com/audio/2280108/uf_2014-08-08-194408.mp3

The part on Elvis begins at 11:18, including an interview with Harold Fruchter. Among other things, he recalls his mom Jeanette adored just how kind and sweet Elvis was, to the point of tearing up! She attended Elvis' Hume High graduation on June 3, 1953 at Ellis Auditorium, and gave him black onyx cuff links as a gift!

She passed away in 2003:
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2003-08-29/news/0308290501_1_heller-robinson-beloved

Take a listen -- it's pretty cool!

I wonder if Harold is going to be publishing a book?
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: How Elvis Missed His True Calling — As a Cantor!

Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:01 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Thanks to FECC member Garfield, we now have the uncropped version of the photo originally published above:

Image

With cousin Gene Smith, David and Debbie Fruchter, 462 Alabama Street, Memphis - circa April 1953
Photo: Jeanette Fruchter


It popped up here last month:

KCRW Radio "UnFictional" with Bob Carlson - Friday, August 8, 2014

Then… The story of an orthodox Jewish family who lived above Elvis Presley’s family in a house in Memphis. They would often call on teenage Elvis to be their Shabbos Goy - the gentile who would perform "work" that religious Jews did not do while on the Sabbath or day of rest. In return, the Fruchter’s may have unwittingly influenced Elvis’ music.

Produced by Rob Sachs. Additional editing by Bob Carlson.

http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/unfictional/friends-in-high-places



Here is a link to download the KCRW broadcast as an mp3 file:
http://download.kcrw.com/audio/2280108/uf_2014-08-08-194408.mp3

The part on Elvis begins at 11:18, including an interview with Harold Fruchter. Among other things, he recalls his mom Jeanette adored just how kind and sweet Elvis was, to the point of tearing up! She attended Elvis' Hume High graduation on June 3, 1953 at Ellis Auditorium, and gave him black onyx cuff links as a gift!

She passed away in 2003:
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2003-08-29/news/0308290501_1_heller-robinson-beloved

Take a listen -- it's pretty cool!

I wonder if Harold is going to be publishing a book?


Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.