Elvis, two NYC-born landlords, and The Birth of Rock ‘n Roll on July 19, 1954

Elvis, New York, 1956
From Elvis at 21, Albert Wertheimer photograph

The Presley family’s 1st floor apt at 462 Alabama Ave in Memphis. The rent was $50.

Elvis and his landlord, the NYC rabbi’s wife, Jeanette Fruchter, Memphis circa 1953-1954

Yes,  this post is a bit of a stretch, but since it involves  NYC-born landlords, rock (and Elvis),  I can’t help myself. My friends will not be surprised. –Landlordrocknyc

From an Elvis fan site: “The two-store Victorian brick building on Alabama Avenue with a sweeping front porch, was home to the Presleys from April 1953  until late 1954. There were just two apartments in the house. The family paid $50.00 a month to rent a small apartment, payable to Mrs. Dubrovner, whose husband had been a kosher butcher in New York  and who lived down the street herself, and both Mrs. Dubrovner and the Presley’s upstairs neighbors, New York Orthodox  Rabbi Alfred Fruchter and his wife, Jeanette, showed a considerable amount of kindness, and financial consideration toward the new tenants.”

Vernon and Gladys occupied the only bedroom. Elvis’ grandmother Minnie Mae slept on a cot in the dining room. Elvis Presley took the couch each night. Mrs. Fruchter later told an interviewer, “They never had much. There wasn’t even a decent chair to sit down in. About all they had was this cheap little radio”. Mrs. Fruchter remembered Saturday afternoons when Elvis Presley and Vernon would polish Elvis’ ten-year-old Lincoln. Others recalled seeing Elvis Presley walk down the street with his guitar, his hair spilling over the collar of his pink shirt.”

The Presley family was living here when Elvis  made his first recording at Memphis Recording Service, (he paid $6 for the privilege)  during the summer of 1953 and when he got the first call from Marion Keisker phoning for Sam Phillips/Sun Records in 1954 . The Presley’s didn’t have a phone so Rabbi Fruchter took the call.

And on the day that rock ‘n roll began (with the Sun Record’s release of Elvis’ first record, That’s Alright Mama on July 19, 1954,)  his  NYC-born landlord and family friend Rabbi Fruchter lent him a phonograph so he could hear it.

That’s Alright Mama, July 19, 1954 .The first rock song ever.

My Happiness, $ 6  demo made by Elvis at Sun Records so he could hear his own voice on a recording.

.Rare Early Interview in NYC, 1956


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