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Johnny Mathis

One of the last and most popular in a long line of traditional male vocalists who emerged before the rock-dominated 1960s, Johnny Mathis concentrated on romantic readings of jazz and pop standards for the ever-shrinking adult contemporary audience of the '60s and '70s. Though he debuted with a flurry of singles chart activity, Mathis later made it big in the album market, where a dozen of his LPs hit gold or platinum and over 60 made the charts. While he originally concentrated on theme-oriented albums of show tunes and traditional favorites, from the '70s onward Mathis began incorporating more varied styles of music into his recordings, including soft rock, R&B, and country. This stylistic eclecticism, combined with ubiquitous vocal chops, helped Mathis remain a popular concert attraction well into the 21st century.

Unsurprisingly, given his emphasis on long sustained notes and heavy vibrato, Mathis studied with an opera coach prior to his teenage years, and was almost lured into the profession; his other inspirations were the smoother crossover jazz vocalists of the 1940s -- Nat "King" Cole, Billy Eckstine, and Lena Horne. Mathis was an exceptional high-school athlete in San Francisco, but was wooed away from a college track scholarship and a potential spot on the Olympic squad by the chance to sing. He was signed to a management contract by club owner Helen Noga, who introduced the singer to George Avakian, jazz producer for Columbia Records. Avakian signed him and used orchestras conducted by Teo Macero, Gil Evans, and John Lewis to record Mathis' self-titled debut album in 1957. Despite the name talent and choice of standards, it was mostly ignored upon release.

Columbia A&R executive Mitch Miller -- known for his desperately pop-slanted Sing Along albums and TV show -- decided the only recourse was switching Mathis to Miller's brand of pop balladry, and the formula worked like a charm; the LP Wonderful Wonderful didn't include but was named after a Top 20 hit later in 1957, which was followed by the number five "It's Not for Me to Say" and his first number one, "Chances Are." From that point on, Johnny Mathis concentrated strictly on lush ballads for adult contemporary listeners.

Though he charted consistently, massive hit singles were rare for Johnny Mathis during the late '50s and '60s -- half of his career Top Ten output had occurred in 1957 alone -- so he chose to focus instead on the burgeoning album market, much like Frank Sinatra, his main rival during the late '50s as the most popular traditional male vocalist. Mathis moved away from show tunes and traditional pop into soft rock during the '70s, and found his second number one single, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late," in 1978. Recorded as a duet with Deniece Williams, the single prompted Mathis to begin trying duets with a variety of partners (including Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, and Nana Mouskouri), though none of the singles enjoyed the success of the original.

Mathis continued to release and sell albums throughout the '90s -- his fifth decade of recording for Columbia -- and beyond, among them 1998's Because You Loved Me: Songs of Diane Warren and 2000's Mathis on Broadway. Mathis followed the Broadway album with 2002's The Christmas Album and 2005's Isn't it Romantic: The Standards Album, both of which found the iconic vocalist in fine form. In 2008, Mathis released the Walter Afanasieff-produced and arranged A Night to Remember, his first straight-ahead adult contemporary album in over a decade. Let It Be Me: Mathis in Nashville, Mathis' first full-length album of country music, appeared in September of 2010. The album ultimately garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: This Is Love / Ole'

1. Put On A Happy Face

3. The Touch Of Your Lips

4. Just Move Along, Meadow Lark

5. Under A Blanket Of Blue

6. Over The Weekend

7. More

8. You Love Me

9. Limehouse Blues

10. What Do You Feel In Your Heart

11. The End Of A Love Affair

12. Fantastic

13. Granada

14. Without You (Tres Palabras)

15. Generique/Felicidade

17. Samba De Orfeu

18. La Montana

19. Babalu

20. Serenata

x

Track List: The Sweetheart Tree / The Shadow Of Your Smile

1. On A Wonderful Day Like Today

2. Arrivederci Roma

3. Clopin Clopant

4. This Is Love

5. I'll Close My Eyes

6. The Very Thought Of You

7. Danny Boy

8. The Sweetheart Tree

9. Symphony

10. The Skye Boat Song

11. Autumn Leaves

12. Mirage

13. Moment To Moment

14. The Shadow Of Your Smile

15. Michelle

16. Yesterday

17. Something's Coming

18. A Taste Of Honey

19. In Love For The Very First Time

21. (I Left My Heart In) San Francisco

22. On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)

23. Melinda

24. Come Back To Me

x

Track List: Love Is Everything / Broadway

1. Never Let Me Go

2. People

3. A Thousand Blue Bubbles

4. Love Is Everything

5. Young And Foolish

6. An Affair To Remember

7. Come Ride The Wind With Me

8. Go Away Little Girl

9. Dancing In The Dark

10. Long Ago And Far Away

11. This Is All I Ask

12. One More Mountain

13. Ain't It De Truth

14. Get Out Of Town

15. Independent

16. Hello, Dolly!

17. Manhattan

19. You'd Better Love Me

20. Don't Rain On My Parade

21. Of Thee I Sing

22. When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love

23. Ridin' High

24. She Loves Me

x

Track List: Tender Is The Night/The Wonderful World Of Make Believe

Disc 1

1. Tender Is The Night

2. Laura

3. No Strings

5. April Love

6. Call Me Irresponsible

7. A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

8. A Ship Without A Sail

9. Forget Me Not

10. Where Is Love?

11. Somewhere

12. Tomorrow Song

Disc 2

1. Camelot

2. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

3. House Of Flowers

4. Beyond The Sea

5. Sky Full Of Rainbows

6. Sands Of Time

7. Shangri La

8. Alice In Wonderland

9. Dream Dream Dream

11. When You Wish Upon A Star

12. Beyond The Blue Horizon

x

Track List: Let It Be Me: Mathis In Nashville

1. What A Wonderful World

2. Let It Be Me

3. Make The World Go Away

4. Crazy

5. Southern Nights

6. You Dont Know Me

7. Lovin Arms

8. Shenandoah

9. We Must Be Lovin Right

10. I Cant Stop Lovin You

11. Love Me Tender

12. Please Help Me Im Falling

13. What A Wonderful World (Christmas Version)

x

Track List: A Night To Remember

1. Just The Two Of Us (With Kenny G)

2. You Make Me Feel Brand New (With Yolanda Adams)

3. Walk On By

4. Hey Girl

5. Closer I Get To You

6. Where Is The Love

7. All This Love

8. Always (With Mone't)

9. We're In This Love Together (With Dave Koz)

10. How 'bout Us

11. Always And Forever

12. A Night To Remember (With Gladys Knight)

x

Track List: Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

1. Chances Are

2. Wonderful! Wonderful!

3. It's Not For Me To Say

4. The Twelfth Of Never

5. When Sunny Gets Blue

6. Wild Is The Wind

7. Misty

8. Small World

9. A Certain Smile

10. Maria

11. What'll I Do

12. One God

13. Deep River

14. True Love

15. So Many Stars

16. In A Sentimental Mood

17. The Shadow Of Your Smile

18. Over The Rainbow

x

Track List: Isn't It Romantic: The Standards Album

1. Isn't It Romantic

2. Love Is Here To Stay

3. Day By Day

4. Dindi

5. There's A Kind Of Hush

6. This Can't Be Love

7. Cottage For Sale

8. Almost Like Being In Love

9. The Rainbow Connection

10. Over The Rainbow (feat. Ray Charles)

x

Track List: 16 Most Requested Songs

1. Chances Are

2. It's Not For Me To Say

3. Misty

4. Wild Is The Wind

5. Wonderful! Wonderful!

6. Maria

7. The Twelfth Of Never

8. Small World

11. What Will My Mary Say

12. When Sunny Gets Blue

13. A Certain Smile

15. Didn't We

16. Gina

x

Track List: Once In A While

1. I'm On The Outside (Looking In)

2. It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference

3. Two Strong Hearts

4. Once In A While

5. Fallen

6. Daydreamin'

7. From A Whisper To A Scream

8. Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)

9. Just Like You

10. Love Brought Us Here Tonight

x

Track List: Johnny's Greatest Hits

1. Chances Are

2. All The Time

3. The Twelfth Of Never

4. When Sunny Gets Blue

5. When I Am With You

6. Wonderful! Wonderful!

7. It's Not For Me To Say

8. Come To Me

9. Wild Is The Wind

10. Warm And Tender

11. No Love (But Your Love)

12. I Look At You

x

Track List: Open Fire, Two Guitars

1. Open Fire

2. Bye Bye Blackbird

3. In The Still Of The Night

4. Embraceable You

5. I'll Be Seeing You

6. Tenderly

7. When I Fall In Love

8. I Concentrate On You

9. Please Be Kind

10. You'll Never Know

11. I'm Just A Boy In Love

12. My Funny Valentine

x

Track List: Heavenly

1. Heavenly

2. Hello, Young Lovers

3. A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening

4. A Ride On A Rainbow

5. More Than You Know

6. Something I Dreamed Last Night

7. Misty

8. Stranger In Paradise

9. Moonlight Becomes You

10. They Say It's Wonderful

11. I'll Be Easy To Find

12. That's All

Comments

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My family has also loved his music so much. They really had no choice, because we played it constantly. It would have been a very sad time
without his Christmas music starting at thanksgiving through the New Year. My husband took me to AC to celebrate his 50th anniversary concert. It was also our wedding anniversary, he was so gracious to have taken a moment through the crowd to shake our hands.
That was so special.




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Johnny's music has always given me peace. Has been one of my favorites from his very beginning.
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That song is so beautifully song I just listen.
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jeanne_denni s
Saw him in concert last week - he is still the best!
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What a voice!! Loved him when a was a kiddo and love him today.
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Like this song so much, so soothing to my ears never tired of listening especially this one "Twelfth of Never". Pls play it more often thanks.
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cdokken7
Always grateful for the beautiful, enchanting voice of my favorite recording artist. No other voice in this whole world as magical as that of Johnny Mathis. :-)
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cdokken7
PANDORA I SPENT FROM AROUND 3:40am ALASK TIME TO after 6:00 AK, TIME WORKING WITH YOU ON MY NAT KING COLE STATION ADDING THE TRACKS I PREFERRED AND ADDED 4OR 5 SINGERS ON VARIETY TO THIS STATION AND YOU ARE PLAYING NONE OF THESE????? WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS VERY SPECIFIC AND TIME CONSUMING SESSION??PLE A S E DONT TELL ME YOU HAVE LOST IT??
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cookieware6
Johnny tears and smiles. Great is all I can say.
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mary7661
Smooth voice. Just beautiful!
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cdokken7
Johnny, you are so special, so rare !! There is no other singer as totally beautiful as you!! When you sing it brings so much light into my life. Thank you so much for being the very wonderful human being you are. I love you. ;-) ;-) ;-)
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cdokken7
Love you, Johnny Mathis. Thank you for sharing your enchanting voice, and wonderful talents with your millions of fans! ;-)
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Such a beautiful voice and person! Love all your music,howeve r Christmas wouldn't be Christmas with out you! So sorry that your home burned last month. I pray you can find the joy of Christmas somewhere with loved ones and friends. God bless you!
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cdokken7
Continued from below
Being! We just want you to know how much you mean to us. You are an incredible celebrity, definitely like no other. Your extraordinar y uniqueness is truly venerable! You are charming, personable, mesmerizing. With all of these attributes, you still remain notably humble, modest, tenacious, & continually respectful, and caring about others& their feelings. You have
A station named after you here at Pandora, so drop in and from time to time and check out your comments. All
Report as inappropriate
cdokken7
Johnny I love listening to your music so very much! Reading comments from the numerous fans here at Pandora I realize how invaluable you, and your exemplary music are to each and everyone of us. We definitely are not all "blue haired" women & men wishing to be Mrs. Johnny Mathis. We are fans who have a genuine, & profound love for you we deeply care about your well
Report as inappropriate
cdokken7
Johnny you are a treasure, a legendary icon! I am so thankful for you. I go to sleep every night drifting away as I listen to your mesmerizing voice. I can never express how grateful I am for you, and the gift you are to me. You remain forever in my heart. ;-)
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Wonderful person from what I read. Love his voice!!!!
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cdokken7
What can I say. An icon!!!!! His legendary brilliance has had me hooked since I was 16 years old!! I am still listening, and loving him!!!!!
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cdokken7
Always and Forever. ;-)
I'll Always Love You. Such a beautiful human being and a legend, an icon who will always be loved by his millions of fans :-) :-) :-)
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cdokken7
I love this album by Johnny Mathis. It is HANDS DOWN one of his best. This album was released in 1959 and is still in HUGE demand! It has many of his top hits, one being "MISTY". Thank you Pandora for playing this song from Heavenly for me. :-) :-). :-) :-)
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Always LOVE to hear you sing..... Just to me xx
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JM cannot do anything wrong! he's that great! seeing him on 10.30.15!
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Reminds me of my dad oh how i miss him so. I love u endlessly. Thanks johnny i can still keep him so near
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I am 70 and I ve listening to Johnny forever I love anything he sing you are gift th��������an k you
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cdokken7
Truly special song����
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cdokken7
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY MATHIS
OUR BIRTHDAY IS ON THE SAME DAY!
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE YEARS OF WONDERFUL MUSIC YOU HAVE GIVEN ME, AND THE WHOLE WORLD!!! :-)
Report as inappropriate
No menton of the work with CHIC, bad omossion.
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cdokken7
Johnny, you are so, so very wonderful!!
Always, the BEST!!!
LOVE YOU!
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Mathis does great stuff I don't like his new stuff but I love his older stuff
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12th of never - JM; Great stuff
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chuckfsm
How can I listen to just the songs I liked only?
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cdokken7
That's all, is a really great song by Johnny M. Love it!! :-)
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I have had many wonderful memorable evenings, with lady friends: Cocktails, dinner by candlelight and Music with Johnny Mathis in the background. You could not ask for better way to show a woman a lovely, romantic time...now it's with my wife of 22+ years Sandy...(ONL Y ) . She never gets tired of me cooking, cocktails, flowers and spending a romantic evening just with me and listening to Johnny Mathis... Some of our greatest date nights.
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cdokken7
Love Johnny Mathis
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jtwjr31
Johnny Mathis, one of the best and still going strong at 79.
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Blue day time 4 Blues & Jazz..take me away Johnny Mathis! ♡
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dragonlady60 8 8
A amazing voice
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dragonlady60 8 8
Johnny will always be in my heart..
Report as inappropriate
marvins39
saw him a week ago at celebrity theater in phoenix. sold out show. still going strong @ 79. he looked good & sounded as good as ever
Report as inappropriate
swolper4
I was amazed when I saw him about 12 years ago at Radio City Music Hall by how handsome and young he looked. Radio City is a big hall but we were down close and could see clearly how well he looked in his perfect black tuxedo. Of course, his voice was still superb and the setting, as always, awesome.
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The 12 of never
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ninamay9
Just wonderful!
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Johnny is the man....
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dragonlady60 8 8
My have song by Johnny...thi s man's voice. Is amazing
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dragonlady60 8 8
Johnny. Is the best and a looked<3
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dragonlady60 8 8
I luv luv johnny ...always
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My very favorite!
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Nothing like his music today, it's awesome.
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DR28443 ONE OF THE BEST SINGERS OUT THERE
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I fell in love with Johnny Mathis when I first heard him in 1955, at the tender age of 16. He was my first love.Now at the tender of 76,I am still in love with him.
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