Back in 1990, I spent a year in the Penn Glee Club, performing with a group of singers and musicians who were uniformly more talented than I am. We went on the road in Austria and Hungary that summer, I formed several lifelong friendships, and I learned never, ever to eat sauerschnitzel again.
The thing about performing the same show twenty or thirty times is that most of it loses its magic to the listener, but two songs in the show still stand out in my mind. The first was my buddy Mike Weinmayr’s performance of the song “Home” from the obscure musical The Adventures of Betty Boop, which still plays on my mental soundtrack whenever the plane touches down.
The other was a solo performance by my classmate Marvin Lyon. Marvin had a grace on the stage that made me understand as a straight guy why the girls were swooning in the audience. And his voice… damn, that boy had pipes. The song was “Only You” by Yazoo, and Marvin did it better.
Marvin died a few years ago, which is why, when his song popped up on Pandora today and I heard it for the first time in 15 years, I felt the need to say: Marvin, you moved me. Thank you.