ROCHESTER, Minn — The city of Rochester will find itself a bit less musical moving forward, with the pending departure of two doctors who have become more famous for performing than operating.
Elvis Francois and William Robinson are known as "The Singing Surgeons," gaining national attention through their viral videos and network television performances. Their first appearance on pop culture radar came in 2018 when their take on Mike Yung's "Alright" - with Francois on vocals and Robinson on piano - landed them a spot on The Ellen Show.
That, in turn, led to bookings on TODAY, Good Morning America and the View, among others. The duo seemed to have a knack for selecting songs, like the Bill Withers classic "Lean on Me" and John Lennon's "Imagine," that both inspired and made an emotional impact on people.
Francois also cut a record of covers this year called "Music is Medicine," with proceeds going towards COVID-19 relief. In May, the duo performed a haunting version of "God Bless America" before the running of this year's Indy 500.
Both Robinson and Francois completed 5-year residencies in orthopedic surgery at Mayo this week. Francois will be moving on to a hospital in Boston, while Robinson will take his career to Philadelphia.
In a post on his Facebook page, Francois bid farewell to the city that helped make him famous. "As the son of a Haitian single father working 2-3 jobs at a time to put opportunity on the table we have faced every single statistical probability telling us that this day would never come. And now here WE are...," Francois wrote. "I’m thankful for the long dark nights, the hard parts, the sweat, the pain, and all of the tears....Because in the words of my grandmother. If the mountain were smooth...you wouldn’t be able to climb it."
Their last performance together, at least for awhile, was a mini-concert at the Forager Brewery in Rochester Wednesday night.