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February 27, 2004 - Image 45

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

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z A R


5pm - 1 1 pm

stellar singer around the
world, and he recently was a
surprise performer at one of
Oprah Winfrey's 50th-birth-
day celebrations.
"Josh is having such a
good time with his career,
and he has a wonderful
sense of humor," says Les-
Lee Roland, who, with
another fan, came up with
the name "Grobanites" for
his loyal enthusiasts.
"I once brought a group of
fans to see a concert and
Doc Roland sings for Josh Groban during a
promised I would serve Josh
backstage get-together `josh has told us that he
up on a silver tray for Doc's
hopes to sing as well as Doc when he reaches Doc's
84th birthday, which was on
age," Les-Lee Roland says.
the day of the performance.
I actually brought along a tin
Roland Optics, sold as the couple
tray wrapped in aluminum foil, and
established a home in Florida 14 years
Josh took a picture standing on it."
ago. The optometrist recalls two
Groban's aunt, Sara Jane (Sis)
uncles — Stanley Rosensweet, a seri-
Levinson of Ohio, says that her
ous singer in Ohio, and Ben Ross, a
famous nephew was raised with scant
touring vaudevillian.
religious observances, learning about
"Josh has told us that he hopes to
Christianity from his mother and
sing as well as Doc when he reaches
Judaism from his father. He is very
Doc's age," Les-Lee
close to his Jewish
Roland says. "Doc
grandmother, Evy
has sung for Josh
Groban, and par-
during a backstage
tial to her chicken
Groban, who
While on tour,
began singing seri-
the singer devel-
ously in the seventh
oped a cold in
grade, advanced his
Ohio and asked
studies with classes
Aunt Sis if she
at the Interlochen
knew the soup
Center for the Arts
recipe and could
in northern
make him some,
Michigan. Back
the Rolands say.
home in California,
The aunt was glad
Groban's vocal
to help, and
coach introduced
Groban's throat
the young singer to
was soothed for
David Foster, a pro-
upcoming shows.
Les-Lee Roland served up "Josh on a
Besides singing,
silver tray" for Doc Roland 84th
arranger who helped
birthday. "He has a wonderful sense of
get Groban's career
playing the piano
humor" says Les-Lee Roland of the
off the ground and
and drums and
couple's singing-star cousin.
move it along very
writing songs,
some for his
While filling in for Andrea Bocelli
recordings. The singer currently is dat-
in a rehearsal with Celine Dion for the ing actress January Jones.
Grammy Awards, Groban was heard
"I can remember singing at the
by Rosie O'Donnell and invited on
Caucus Club when Barbra Streisand
her television show as one of his first
was very young and performing in
national bookings. The singer made a
another room," Doc Roland says.
recording with Lara Fabian and was
"When her show was over, I asked her
cast on two programs of the Ally
to sing with us, but she refused.
McBeal series.
"Josh has had a very different experi-
His first solo album, Josh Groban,
ence with her. Not only has she
was made in 2001. His second album,
included him on one of her recent
Closer, was released in 2003 and
albums, she also has invited him to
reached No.1 on the Billboard charts.
her home. He had a good time, and I
Exciting engagements have taken the had a great time hearing about it." Li

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