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February 27, 2004 - Image 44

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-02-27

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Fans In The Family

Former Detroiters Doc and Les-Lee Roland get
"Closer" to singer Josh Groban.

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attending a concert in Florida and felt
an immediate kinship.
The couple went on to see shows in
other states, initiated fan chat sessions
on Josh's Web site
(wvvw.fansoqoshgroban.com) and
organized meet-and-greet gatherings
for traveling members of Groban's
"It's been amazing how close many
of the fans have become through the
Web," says Les-Lee Roland, who is
happy to prOvide information about
the star through her trip-planning
business e-mail address,

ising singing sensation
Josh Groban performed
for a packed Valentine's
Day concert at the Fox
Theatre, but two of his Jewish rela-
tives found him as big a hit backstage
after the show.
Groban, who turns 23 today, is on
his first solo tour since selling mil-
lions of his classical/pop CDs, and
he arranged some fun time with Les-
Lee and Harold (Doc) Roland, for-
mer Detroiters who jetted into town
from Sarasota,
Fla., just to see
the program.
The Rolands
have been active
Groban fans for
more than two
years — first
enjoying his tal-
ents, later discov-
ering family ties
and next building
on an initial meet-
ing to form a
strong intergenera-
tional friendship.
"Josh has
become one of our
favorite people,"
says Doc Roland,
85, who worked as Harold (Doc) Roland, left, and Les-Lee Roland, right, flank
a pop singer in the Josh Groban, center, after the taping of a PBS special with the
Detroit area many Boston Pops.
years ago and
planned troop
"We have organized charity projects
shows while serving in the military
among the fans, and they call me . the
during World War II. "He's very
`Fairy Grobmother' because of the
mature and warm, and I'm glad some-
one in my family finally made it big in connections I have made. We've raised
lots of money for Ronald McDonald
show business."
Houses, which are near children's hos-
Doc Roland became impressed with
pitals to offer lodging for families of
Groban's vocal range while watching
him perform with Sarah Brightman on a seriously ill young patients."
The Rolands, planning to visit New
television special. Roland mentioned the
York to attend a Groban concert at
program to a relative and soon learned
the singer was the grandson of a late first Radio City Music Hall in April, also
have been able to tell the popular vocal-
cousin, whose children had lost touch
ist stories about family members who
with some members of the family after
pursued entertainment careers.
moving from Ohio to California.
Roland, who appeared with
The Rolands
Danny Thomas during the late come-
singer's family to praise the TV per-
dian's stints in Detroit, sang in local
formance and heard right back. They
clubs and on radio before opening
were invited to meet the star after

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