Dave Elman (1900–1967) is primarily known today as an author of a book on hypnosis. 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  as well as a songwriter and lyricist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Career and later life
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. 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. It was while working with Handy that he met his future wife, Pauline Reffe.
During the years 1923-1928, Elman was so anxious to break into radio that he made a living at a daytime job and worked for free on various radio networks in the evenings and on holidays and weekends because radio had started to have a major impact in this country. In 1928, he got his first paying job with radio station WHN, a large radio station in New York City. Soon after, he was hired by Columbia Broadcasting System and worked on every major radio station in the metropolitan New York area, where he became known as an idea man. He wrote, produced, directed and performed in his own shows as well as others. Dave worked with many of the great names in radio. He wrote a number of Kate Smith shows and worked with all the major advertising agencies. CBS soon contracted with him to write, produce, direct and perform on several of their shows. Elman soon became one of the network’s top idea men.
In 1937, he approached NBC, the biggest network on radio, with an idea for a new show: Ordinary people would become advocates about their unusual hobbies, which were judged by an invited celebrity. NBC liked the idea. Elman debuted “Hobby Lobby” on Oct. 6, 1937. It was an immediate 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 eagerly accepted the invitation to be his replacement as host. Later, when he was hospitalized for several weeks for a gall bladder operation, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was once more 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. “Hobby Lobby” was on the air until 1948, when Elman decided to pursue teaching hypnosis to doctors and dentists.
Later he published his training course as a series of lessons before collecting the written material into book form titled 'Findings in Hypnosis', later to be re-titled 'Hypnotherapy' (published by Westwood Publishing). 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 students routinely obtained states of hypnosis adequate for medical and surgical procedures in under three minutes. His book and recordings provide much more than just his rapid induction techniques, however. The first heart operation using hypnosis rather than normal anesthesia (because of severe problems with the patient) was performed by his students with Dave Elman in the operating room as "coach."
Elman died on 5 December 1967, having recovered from a heart attack five years earlier. The audio recordings of the classes and his book HYPNOTHERAPY are regarded as classics in the field of Medical Hypnosis. 
- 1970 Explorations in Hypnosis. Nash Pub. ISBN 0-8402-1143-0 
- 1970 Hypnotherapy, Westwood Pub. ISBN 0-930298-04-7 
- "Explorations in Hypnosis. By Dave Elman". Google book search. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- "Hypnotherapy by Dave Elman". WorldCat. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- 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
- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,761936,00.html "Radio S-L-E-E-P" Time, Monday, August 28, 1939
- http://www.440.com/twtd/archives/oct06.html Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature from 440 International
- http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p332404/songs/songs-composed-by allmusic.com AMG Artist ID P 332404
- 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.
- Dave Elman. Westwood Publishing[specify][unreliable source?]
- Dave Elman: A short biographic summary
- Elman, Dave. "Findings in Hypnosis"[page needed]