Ever since he sang The Way You Look Tonight in the 1991 movie Father of the Bride, Grammy Award-winning singer Steve Tyrell estimates, his voice has become part of hundreds of wedding receptions – including some famous ones.
The winter before last, Tyrell recalled, President Bill Clinton brought Chelsea and Mrs. Clinton, who was the secretary of state, to see me at the (Café) Carlyle in New York.
The Clintons told Tyrell the president and Chelsea had chosen his song for their father/daughter dance when Chelsea married Mark Mezvinsky in July 2010.
That was one highlight of my career, said Tyrell, who expects to reprise the poignant number during I'll Take Romance, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic's Valentine-themed concerts, set for tonight in Scranton and tomorrow in Wilkes-Barre.
This weekend, Tyrell's silken voice will present many romantic songs, among them Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Call Me Irresponsible, Fly Me to the Moon and Come Rain or Come Shine.
While he's well-known for singing many Frank Sinatra and Burt Bacharach standards, The Way You Look Tonight has a special kind of magic.
Ever since I sang it for the movie, that song has been used at hundreds of weddings, Tyrell said. It keeps me in touch with kids in their 20s. They're not the only people who get married, but usually those are the ones dancing with their fathers at their weddings.
I sang it to my own daughter, Tina, Tyrell noted, adding he also sang it at the wedding of Annie Meyers-Shyer, whose father, Charles Shyer, directed Father of the Bride.
The success of the song in that movie turned me around from being a record producer and music supervisor to being an artist, Tyrell said. Before that I was a behind-the-scenes record producer. But I've been singing my whole life.
Tyrell, 67, who grew up in Houston and New Orleans, is a fan of the easy-on-the-ears music that has long been a part of America's heritage.
These songs are great storytellers, he said. It's kind of a lost art, the art of songwriting. But ‘The Great American Songbook' is the greatest gift America has given to the world, the greatest artistic gift.
Tyrell said he is happy to appear with the Philharmonic. I love singing with symphonies because it gives you a chance to have your music performed at its fullest, he said. I'm looking forward to standing in front of a whole orchestra instead of my usual seven guys.
What: ‘I'll Take Romance'
Who: The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic with guest artist Steve Tyrell
Scranton concert: 8 tonight at Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Wilkes-Barre concert: 8 p.m. Saturday at the F.M. Kirby Center, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
Tickets: $29 to $60; $15 for students