Fred Woolf of Farmington Hills, 88, has a long family history of music and entertainment. In this photo taken in 1935, Fred, then age 6, is the little guy in the center of the first row. He’s the only person in this photo who’s still alive.
His cousin Mickey Woolf, pictured on Fred’s left wearing a tuxedo, and his band played at many bar mitzvahs, weddings and at summer resorts in the Catskill Mountains. Mickey was also the emcee at the Bowery Night Club and was a close friend of Eddie Fisher, Jerry Lewis and many other stars of the era between the 1950s-1970s. Mickey died in a plane crash at age 42.
Fred’s uncle Sammy Woolf also enjoyed a musical career as a popular bandleader in the Midwest, singing with the Dorsey Brothers Band. Sam is on the back row on the far-left side.
Fred’s dad, Ben Woolf, is directly behind him in the picture.
Fred, himself, had a 40-year medical career, doing cancer support work and was a founding member of the Race for the Cure and Gilda’s Club. Fred also had the musical family genes. He had his own recording company with the Monotones of “Book of Love” fame. He’s now education director for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
By the way, those musical genes are still working their way through the family line. Sam Woolf, great-grandson of Sammy Woolf, is pursuing a career in music and songwriting. He appeared on the 13th season of American Idol.
Weekly through May 3, when the JN holds its 75th anniversary gala, we will run profiles of multi-generational families involved in the community. Readers are invited to share their multi-generational photos, a brief description of those pictured and contact information via email to email@example.com. Digital photos need to be 1mb jpgs. Mail print photos to the JN, with your description. To learn about the gala, go to djnfoundation.org. Thanks!