Johnny Carson asked if anyone in the audience could play the piano. This man raised his hand, and his life was changed forever.

Life is full of surprises, and one unexpected moment changed the trajectory of David Tolley’s life. On December 19, 1985, he was a member of the studio audience for Johnny Carson’s
Tonight Show when the unexpected occurred. Carson revealed that the intended guest, Horatio Gutierrez, a classical pianist, had damaged his hand and would be unable to perform. Carson wondered if anyone in the audience could play the piano without missing a beat.

Tolley, who had been playing the piano since infancy, jumped right in. He ascended the stage and sang «Memory» from the hit musical Cats. The impromptu performance garnered him a standing ovation from the audience as well as newfound fame.

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