The Oddest Job Elvis Presley Ever Had

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Before Elvis Presley became the most famous singer in the world he held a few different jobs. Probably the most famous was as a truck driver for the Crown Electric company. After Elvis gained worldwide fame, it was heavily promoted that he was a "former truck driver."

Elvis had also been an usher in a movie theater for a while. A girl who worked the concession stand at the theater had a crush on Elvis and would give him free candy from the concessions. This caused her boyfriend to get in a fight with Elvis, leading to his getting fired.

But Elvis's most unusual job is not so well known.

Let's jump forward a few years later. It's 1957, and Elvis is the hottest act in show business. At the time, he was preparing for a string of West Coast concerts. Before his San Francisco show, somebody came to the stage door asking for George Klein.

George Klein was one of Elvis's closest friends in high school and was traveling with Elvis on his West Coast tour. As George went to the stage door to see who was there, he was shocked to see Rabbi Alfred Fruchter, the rabbi from the north Memphis temple he had attended as a kid.

After George and the rabbi exchanged hugs and handshakes, Rabbi Fruchter explained that he had been transferred to a temple in San Francisco and he just wanted to drop by and say hello. He asked if he could say hello to Elvis, and George said he'd go and check.

When George started to explain to Elvis who was out there, Elvis's eyes lit up. "I know Rabbi Fruchter," he told George, "I used to live with him. Get him back here."

462 Alabama Ave in Memphis, where the Presleys and the Fruchters lived in 1954

During Elvis's senior year at Humes High School in Memphis, the Presley family had moved several times, and at one point lived in the bottom floor of a boardinghouse, where their upstairs neighbors were Rabbi Fruchter and his wife.

Elvis explained to George that he was the Rabbi's "Shabbos goy."

He turned the lights on and off and turned the radio on and off for the rabbi and his wife and did odd jobs and errands for the Orthodox family on the Saturday sabbath, when Orthodox Jews were forbidden to engage in certain types of work and activities. The rabbi had also allowed the Presley family to use their telephone, saving them the expense of getting their own.

Elvis and the rabbi had a great time reminiscing and Elvis insisted Rabbi Fuchter accompany him to the San Francisco pre-show press conference.

There were many surprised faces among the reporters at the press conference when Elvis announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like you to meet my rabbi."


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Very rare to find is the version of Hound Dog Elvis recorded where he changed the lyrics to "Well you never caught a rabbi and you ain't no friend of mine."
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Immediately following the press conference, Colonel Parker launched a line of Elvis-themed yarmulkes, challah covers and bris knives.
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