Interesting fact?

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Sep 11, 2021, 11:48:38 AMSep 11
Our local library recently reopened and when it did I checked out Jews
in America: The First 500 years. Its format was to pose a question
followed by an answer. One of those questions was the following:

Q. What famous operatic tenor wore tsitit ( ritual fringes) even when
performing in costume?

A. Richard Tucker, born Reuben Ticker, was one of the greatest
operatic tenors of the tenors of the 20th century blah blah. What I
found interesting was the last paragraph of the answer - Richard
Tucker's cantorial recordings found at least one unusual fan, In the
early 50s, a teenage boy in Memphis, Tennessee, liked to go visit
Rabbi Alfred Frutcher, his upstairs neighbor, and listen to the
rabbi's cantorial records of Tucker and Cantor Moshe Kussevitsky. The
boy was Elvis Presley.


Sep 11, 2021, 2:56:18 PMSep 11
When I was a kid several of my friends' parents (who were less
ambivalent about being Jewish than my parents were) had albums by
Richard Tucker and Robert Merrill in their collections. I Googled
"Jewish opera singers" because I couldn't remember Robert Merrill's
name, and to my surprise the name Kitty Carlisle also came up. I
remember her from that game show "To Tell The Truth," but I did not know
she was an opera singer, or that she was Jewish.

As for Elvis, did he know at that point in his life that one of his
great-grandmothers was Jewish? If so that might explain why he was
curious about cantorial singing. I mean, if you haven't grown up hearing
it, it's going to sound really weird and foreign to you...kind of like
how Chinese opera sounds to me.


Sep 11, 2021, 11:11:03 PMSep 11
On Sat, 11 Sep 2021 14:56:14 -0400, DianeE <> wrote:

>As for Elvis, did he know at that point in his life that one of his
>great-grandmothers was Jewish?

I doubt it. There could, of course, be other reasons for Elvis showing
an interest in the music, strange or otherwise, played by his adult

And countless Gentile people in the West, I'm sure do have,
unknowingly, or not with certainty, Jewish forbears - including me; my
great-grandmother's birth surname was "King"...

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