Dave Elman

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Dave Elman (1900–1967) is primarily known today as an author of a book on hypnosis.[1][2] Over the course of his life he was also well known as the creator and host of a popular radio show known as Hobby Lobby [3][4][5] as well as a songwriter and lyricist.[3][6]

Early life[edit]

Dave Elman was born David Kopelman to parents Jacob and Lena on May 6, 1900 in Park River, North Dakota, but the family moved in 1902 to Fargo, where they started a business on Front Street making wigs, switches and related performance equipment.[3]

In 1906, they moved their wig-making business to the Kopelman Building, which they had built at 514 1st Street. In the basement, they provided mikvah services so Jewish women in the community could purify themselves through special cleansing. Lena also began a hairdressing shop next door.[3]

Soon thereafter, Jacob was diagnosed with cancer. When a family friend relieved the intractable pain quite rapidly with hypnosis, Elman set about learning these techniques from him and began to realize the vast possibilities of hypnosis in the relief of pain outside of traditional medical procedures.[3]

Jacob died in November 1908, leaving his pregnant wife with six children. In his early teens, Elman worked odd jobs to help the family. He was a talented musician on the saxophone and violin, and used his quick wit and love of entertaining performing within the community as a comic.[3]

Career and later life[edit]

This eventually led to the Vaudeville circuit, and he moved to New York in 1922. His stage name in Vaudeville was Elman, shortened from Kopelman when his billing as "The World's Youngest and Fastest Hypnotist" did not fit on marquees or promotional material. After being unsatisfied working the nightclubs, he later got a job working for music publishers. It was at this time that Dave became acquainted with the famous W. C. Handy, with whom he worked for some years.[3] The most well-known songs the duo wrote during this period were "Atlanta Blues", which was later recorded by dozens of other artists including Louis Armstrong, and "Oh Papa!" which was later recorded by the late Odetta.[6] It was while working with Handy that he met his future wife, Pauline Reffe.[3]

During the years 1923-1928, Elman was anxious to break into radio. In 1928, he got his first job with radio station WHN, a large radio station in New York City. Soon after, he was hired by Columbia Broadcasting System,New York, where he became known as an idea man.[3] He wrote, produced, directed and performed in his own shows as well as others. He wrote a number of Kate Smith shows.

In 1937, he approached NBC with an idea for a new show: "Ordinary people would become advocates about their unusual hobbies", which were to be judged by an invited celebrity. NBC liked the idea. So on Oct. 6, 1937, Elman debuted “Hobby Lobby”. It was a hit. Thousands of letters poured in each week from people who wanted to talk about their hobbies. Many celebrities also sought to be on Elman’s show. When Elman went on vacation on Aug. 2, 1939, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt accepted the invitation to be his replacement as host. Later, when he was hospitalized for a gall bladder operation, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was once more the interim MC. Eleanor Roosevelt also collaborated with Dave Elman on a movie advocating the use of hobbies as activities for soldiers; see Eleanor Roosevelt's "My Diary" on the Internet.[7] “Hobby Lobby” was on the air until 1948. In 1949 Elman decided to pursue teaching hypnosis to doctors and dentists. From 1949 through 1962, he traveled extensively throughout America teaching his training course in hypnosis as a series of lessons called "Medical Relaxation", which he published as audio recordings. He also recorded a series of recordings entitled "Hypno-Analysis" which were actual sessions in hypnosis that he referenced for his course. In 1963, after a long illness, he decided to write his findings on the subject. It was a 336 page book which he dictated to his wife, Pauline, an accomplished stenographer and then gave to his son Robert Elman, an accomplished author and editor, to edit. He then had the book printed copyrighted and self-published in 1964. It was titled "Findings in Hypnosis", later published by Nash Publishing, 1970 and re-titled "Explorations in Hypnosis" and later published by Westwood Publishing, and re-titled "Hypnotherapy".

Perhaps the most well known aspect of Elman's legacy is his method of induction, which was originally fashioned for speed work and later adapted for the use of medical professionals. His book and recordings provide much more than just his rapid induction techniques. The first heart operation using hypnosis rather than normal anesthesia was performed by his students with Dave Elman in the operating room as "coach."[8]

Elman died suddenly on 5 December 1967, having recovered from a heart attack five years earlier.[9] The audio recordings of the classes and his book HYPNOTHERAPY are regarded as classics in the field of Medical Hypnosis. [10]

Websites[edit]

http://www.daveelmanhypnosisinstitute.com/

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Explorations in Hypnosis. By Dave Elman. Google book search. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Hypnotherapy by Dave Elman". WorldCat. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i http://www.breakthroughinstitute.com/products_for_sale/others_products/dave_elman/dave_elman.htm "Park River native’s hobbies brought success" Curtis Eriksmoen, The Forum, Sunday, February 12, 2006
  4. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,761936,00.html "Radio S-L-E-E-P" Time, Monday, August 28, 1939
  5. ^ http://www.440.com/twtd/archives/oct06.html Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature from 440 International
  6. ^ a b http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p332404/songs/songs-composed-by allmusic.com AMG Artist ID P 332404
  7. ^ Roosevelt, Eleanor. "My Day". On-line copy of her diary, which ran as a newspaper column. My Day Project, George Washington University. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ Dave Elman. Westwood Publishing[specify][unreliable source?]
  9. ^ Dave Elman: A short biographic summary
  10. ^ Elman, Dave. "Findings in Hypnosis"[page needed]