It’s nearing the end of September. As I look at the calendar on the side of our refrigerator, the datebook wedged in my memory reminds me of a few friends and family members whose birthdays fall on these early fall days. There are also a few famous ones: T. S. Eliot and George Gershwin on the 26th and Meat Loaf on the 27th.

Sticking to its stylebook mandates, the New York Times to this day calls him Mr. Loaf. I met Meat (born Marvin Lee Aday) nearly 50 years ago. He was in the cast of a musical work-in-progress, More Than You Deserve, Michael Weller’s perceptive yet perhaps premature satire on the on-going war in Vietnam.

The young Texas blues belter was finding his way in New York. He came to the Big City with the nickname that more or less described his beefy head and physique, a nickname he actually savored. His career as a star performer was nearing the right track, thanks in large part to the support and creative input of that show’s composer, Jim Steinman.

I was there to cheer on my friend, the playwright. It was an afternoon right before rehearsal in Joe Papp’s experimental theatre space in Astor Place. For a moment in time, it was just the three of us in a large empty room. What we chatted about is now lost to an aging memory, but at some point the talk got around to Meat Loaf’s range. His elephantine bellow could be heard on the street.

In a low-key demeanor he offered that he possessed the talent to break glass with his voice. Who were we not to take him up on the offer? In short order, among the props, we found a replaceable thin, crystal drinking cup. It was placed on top of a seatback a few rows from the stage. Mr. Loaf cleared his throat and began to scale the heights of the challenge. No bets were involved. Vibrations began to make their way under our feet. As his dark, rich tenor climbed, I started to worry that my eardrums might shatter before that glass did. But as soon as he found that note that defies resistance, that crystal cracked. We stood truly amazed.

Was it a stunt? Don’t ask me. Experts in physics say it’s possible. Opera singers have been known to hit notes that break glass. Or so they say. In 2005, the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters ran a demonstration with rock vocal coach Jamie Vendera. He tried about a dozen wine glasses until his powerful pipes did the trick and one of the targets splintered. His wail registered around 105 decibels, the volume of a jackhammer.

Years ago, jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald famously pulled this off with the aid of an amplifier and Memorex audiotape in a TV commercial. Come to think of it, I think that spot initially ran in 1973, the very year More Than You Deserve was in production. Ella could have indeed been the catalyst for the Meat Loaf challenge.

Within a few years of this feat, Meat Loaf’s name continued to scale upward — sort of from diner food to gourmet entrée.

More Than You Deserve was work-shopped in the spring of 1973, then opened in the fall at the Newman Theater inside the Public Theater. It closed after 63 performances. Though the meat of the play may have been too much too soon, Mr. Loaf’s timing was closing in on immediate. About a year later, he played in both the stage and film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, getting himself known to more people. With Mr. Steinman as his guru-producer, Mr. Loaf began to work his way from the theatrical lights into the recording studio.

His debut album, Bat Out of Hell, came roaring out in 1977 and shattered expectations everywhere. Videos were produced for four of the songs: Bat Out of Hell, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, and Paradise by the Dashboard Light – that last one a Rabelaisian teenage angst duet with Karla DeVito. Mr. Loaf and Mr. Steinman then convinced Rocky Horror’s producer Lou Adler to run the Paradise video as a trailer wherever the movie was screened.

More than four decades later, this debut album still sells, mainly through downloads, an estimated 200,000 copies a year. Its residence on the pop charts for nearly a decade puts it among the most-sold albums in history. Combined with his next few albums, we’re talking tens of millions in sales.

In 1981 on his album, Dead Ringer, he included the title song from More Than You Deserve, the song I heard him noodling with as he tuned up to break a little glass in the back of my memory.

On Sept. 27 of this year, Mr. Loaf, who has legally changed his name to Michael Lee Aday, turns 74. So far, he’s been pretty quiet about it.

Arnie Reisman and his wife, Paula Lyons, regularly appear on the weekly NPR comedy quiz show, Says You! He also writes for the Huffington Post.