When The Music Act Bailed, Johnny Carson Called Up An Audience Member To Play And Changed His Life Forever

When Dave Tolley got a ticket to ensure The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1985, he never imagined it would be the day his life would altogether change. Tolley had played piano for years but was still waiting on his big break. He got that opportunity when the musical act Johnny Carson had previously booked cancelled at the last minute. So Carson decided to turn to the audience.

Garmented in a t-shirt and sandals, Tolley nailed a version of Memories for the Broadway show “Cats.” The audience roared with pleasure and he got the attention of Johnny Carson who invited him back on the prove a few months later, this time as a featured guest. Tolley’s appearance propelled his career and he went on to write seven musicals as well as compose music for Disney theme park.

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