“A surgical instrument because it would heal you …”

The following quote is from Alyn Shipton’s book, Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter. Percussionist Ray Cooper is describing Harry Nilsson’s voice. Imagine having a voice like this:

“The voice was extraordinary and clear, a boy’s choir voice in a man. Absolutely beautiful – a surgical instrument because it would heal you. You felt an overwhelming wave of warmth … that voice would come through and you almost couldn’t play, it was so beautiful, seriously beautiful.”

Sigh. If I can’t have a voice like that, I wouldn’t mind a next door neighbor who sang like that, someone I could listen to from time to time. Also, Ray Cooper is an extremely articulate, poetic man. Such an evocative description.

A quick snapshot from choir rehearsal on Tuesday. We have a lot of new singers this year. John, our director, said 60 people auditioned! I think around 12 or so made it in. We must be up to a billion singers by now.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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