Johnny Mathis

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For the country music singer, see "Country" Johnny Mathis. Johnny Mathis_sentence_0

Johnny Mathis_table_infobox_0

Johnny MathisJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_1_0
Birth nameJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_2_0 John Royce MathisJohnny Mathis_cell_0_2_1
BornJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_3_0 (1935-09-30) September 30, 1935 (age 85)

Gilmer, Texas, U.S.Johnny Mathis_cell_0_3_1

OriginJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_4_0 San Francisco, California, U.SJohnny Mathis_cell_0_4_1
GenresJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_5_0 soulJohnny Mathis_cell_0_5_1
Occupation(s)Johnny Mathis_header_cell_0_6_0 Johnny Mathis_cell_0_6_1
Years activeJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_7_0 1956–presentJohnny Mathis_cell_0_7_1
LabelsJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_8_0 Johnny Mathis_cell_0_8_1
WebsiteJohnny Mathis_header_cell_0_9_0 Johnny Mathis_cell_0_9_1

John Royce Mathis (born September 30, 1935) is an American singer-songwriter of popular music. Johnny Mathis_sentence_1

Starting his career with singles of standard music, he became highly popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status and 73 making the Billboard charts to date. Johnny Mathis_sentence_2

Mathis has received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings. Johnny Mathis_sentence_3

Although frequently described as a romantic singer, his discography includes traditional pop, Brazilian and Spanish music, soul, rhythm and blues, show tunes, Tin Pan Alley, soft rock, blues, country music, and even a few disco songs for his album Mathis Magic in 1979. Johnny Mathis_sentence_4

Mathis has also recorded six albums of Christmas music. Johnny Mathis_sentence_5

In a 1968 interview, Mathis cited Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby among his musical influences. Johnny Mathis_sentence_6

Early life and education Johnny Mathis_section_0

Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas, on September 30, 1935, the fourth of seven children of Clem Mathis and Mildred Boyd. Johnny Mathis_sentence_7

The family moved to San Francisco, California, settling on 32nd Avenue in the Richmond District, where Mathis grew up. Johnny Mathis_sentence_8

His father had worked in vaudeville, and when he saw his son's talent, he bought an old upright piano for $25 (US$363 in 2019 dollars) and encouraged him. Johnny Mathis_sentence_9

Mathis began learning songs and routines from his father. Johnny Mathis_sentence_10

His first song was "My Blue Heaven". Johnny Mathis_sentence_11

Mathis started singing and dancing for visitors at home, at school, and at church functions. Johnny Mathis_sentence_12

Mathis is of African-American and Native American heritage. Johnny Mathis_sentence_13

When he was 13, voice teacher Connie Cox accepted him as her student in exchange for work around her house. Johnny Mathis_sentence_14

Mathis studied with Cox for six years, learning vocal scales and exercises, voice production, classical and operatic singing. Johnny Mathis_sentence_15

The first band he sang with was formed by his high school friend Merl Saunders. Johnny Mathis_sentence_16

Mathis eulogized Saunders at his funeral in 2008, thanking him for giving Mathis his first chance as a singer. Johnny Mathis_sentence_17

Mathis was a star athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco. Johnny Mathis_sentence_18

He was a high jumper and hurdler, and he played on the basketball team. Johnny Mathis_sentence_19

In 1954, he enrolled at San Francisco State College on an athletic scholarship, intending to become an English teacher and a physical education teacher. Johnny Mathis_sentence_20

While there, Mathis set a high-jump record of 6'-5 1/2" [1.97 m]. Johnny Mathis_sentence_21

This is still one of the college's top jump heights and was only 7 cm [two inches] short of the 1952 Olympic record of 2.04 m at the time. Johnny Mathis_sentence_22

Just as when he was in high school, Mathis's name was frequently mentioned in the sports sections of the Northern California newspapers. Johnny Mathis_sentence_23

He and future NBA star Bill Russell were featured in a 1954 sports section article of the San Francisco Chronicle demonstrating their high-jumping skills (Russell #1 & Mathis #2 in the City of San Francisco at that time). Johnny Mathis_sentence_24

During one meet at the University of Nevada, Mathis beat Russell's highest jump attempt that day. Johnny Mathis_sentence_25

Mathis was often referred to as "the best all-around athlete to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area." Johnny Mathis_sentence_26

Career Johnny Mathis_section_1

Debut Johnny Mathis_section_2

While singing at a Sunday afternoon jam session with a friend's jazz sextet at the Black Hawk Club in San Francisco, Mathis attracted the attention of the club's co-founder, Helen Noga. Johnny Mathis_sentence_27

She became his music manager, and in September 1955, after Noga had found Mathis a job singing weekends at Ann Dee's 440 Club, she learned that George Avakian, head of Popular Music A&R at Columbia Records, was on vacation near San Francisco. Johnny Mathis_sentence_28

After repeated calls, Noga finally persuaded Avakian to come hear Mathis at the 440 Club. Johnny Mathis_sentence_29

After hearing Mathis sing, Avakian sent his record company a telegram stating: "Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way. Johnny Mathis_sentence_30

Send blank contracts." Johnny Mathis_sentence_31

At San Francisco State, Mathis had become noteworthy as a high jumper, and in 1956 he was asked to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team that would travel to Melbourne, Australia, that November. Johnny Mathis_sentence_32

Mathis had to decide whether to go to the Olympic trials or to keep his appointment in New York City to make his first recordings. Johnny Mathis_sentence_33

On his father's advice, Mathis opted to embark on a professional singing career. Johnny Mathis_sentence_34

His LP record album was released in late 1956 instead of waiting until the first quarter of 1957. Johnny Mathis_sentence_35

Mathis's first record album, Johnny Mathis: A New Sound In Popular Song, was a slow-selling jazz album, but Mathis stayed in New York City to sing in nightclubs. Johnny Mathis_sentence_36

His second album was produced by Columbia Records vice-president and record producer Mitch Miller, who helped to define the Mathis sound. Johnny Mathis_sentence_37

Miller preferred that Mathis sing soft, romantic ballads, pairing him with conductor and music arranger Ray Conniff, and later, Ray Ellis, Glenn Osser, and Robert Mersey. Johnny Mathis_sentence_38

In late 1956, Mathis recorded two of his most popular songs: "Wonderful! Johnny Mathis_sentence_39 Wonderful!" Johnny Mathis_sentence_40

and "It's Not for Me to Say". Johnny Mathis_sentence_41

Also that year, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer signed him up to sing the latter song in the movie Lizzie (1957). Johnny Mathis_sentence_42

Show biz millionaire Johnny Mathis_section_3

His appearance on the popular TV program The Ed Sullivan Show in June 1957 helped increase his popularity. Johnny Mathis_sentence_43

Later in 1957, he released "Chances Are", which became his second single to sell a million. Johnny Mathis_sentence_44

In November 1957, he released "Wild Is the Wind", which featured in the film of the same name and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Johnny Mathis_sentence_45

He performed the song at the ceremony in March 1958. Johnny Mathis_sentence_46

The week before his appearance at the Academy Awards, Johnny's Greatest Hits was released. Johnny Mathis_sentence_47

The album spent an unprecedented 490 consecutive weeks through 1967 (nine and a half years) on the Billboard top 200 album charts, including three weeks at number one. Johnny Mathis_sentence_48

It held the record for the most number of weeks on the top Billboard 200 albums in the US for 15 years, until Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon (March 1973) reached 491 weeks in October 1983. Johnny Mathis_sentence_49

Later in 1958, Mathis made his second film appearance for 20th Century Fox, singing the song "A Certain Smile" in the film of that title. Johnny Mathis_sentence_50

The song was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Johnny Mathis_sentence_51

By the end of the year, he was set to earn $1 million a year. Johnny Mathis_sentence_52

Critics called him "the velvet voice". Johnny Mathis_sentence_53

During the summer of 1958, Mathis left San Francisco with the Nogas, who sold their interest in the Black Hawk club that year, and moved to Beverly Hills, California, where the Nogas bought a house. Johnny Mathis_sentence_54

Mathis lived with the family. Johnny Mathis_sentence_55

Mathis appeared on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom on January 1, 1959. Johnny Mathis_sentence_56

Mathis had two of his biggest hits in 1962 and 1963, with "Gina" (number 6) and "What Will Mary Say" (number 9). Johnny Mathis_sentence_57

In 1962, Ebony magazine listed Mathis as one of 30-35 millionaires on their list of "America's 100 Richest Negroes". Johnny Mathis_sentence_58

Split from Noga Johnny Mathis_section_4

In October 1964, Mathis sued Noga to void their management arrangement, which Noga fought with a counterclaim in December 1964. Johnny Mathis_sentence_59

Mathis purchased a mansion in Hollywood Hills, which was originally built by billionaire Howard Hughes in 1946, where he still maintains a residence. Johnny Mathis_sentence_60

After splitting from Noga, Mathis established Jon Mat Records, Inc., incorporated in California on May 11, 1967, to produce his recordings (previously, he founded Global Records, Inc. to produce his Mercury albums), and Rojon Productions, Inc., incorporated in California on September 30, 1964, to handle all of his concert, theater, showroom, and television appearances, and all promotional and charitable activities. Johnny Mathis_sentence_61

His new manager and business partner was Ray Haughn, who, until his death in September 1984, helped guide Mathis's career. Johnny Mathis_sentence_62

Since that time, Mathis has taken sole responsibility for it. Johnny Mathis_sentence_63

While Mathis continued to make music, the ascent of the Beatles and early 1970s album rock kept his adult contemporary recordings out of the pop singles charts, until he experienced a career renaissance in the late 1970s. Johnny Mathis_sentence_64

Johnny Mathis had a 1976 Christmas number one single in the UK with the song "When a Child Is Born". Johnny Mathis_sentence_65

In 1978, Mathis recorded "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" with singer Deniece Williams. Johnny Mathis_sentence_66

The lyrics and music were arranged by Nat Kipner and John McIntyre Vallins. Johnny Mathis_sentence_67

Released as a single in 1978, it reached number one on the U.S. Johnny Mathis_sentence_68

Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, number nine on the Canadian Singles Chart and number three on the UK Singles Chart. Johnny Mathis_sentence_69

It also topped the US R&B and adult contemporary charts. Johnny Mathis_sentence_70

"Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" was certified gold and silver in the US and in the UK by the RIAA and the British Phonographic Industry respectively. Johnny Mathis_sentence_71

It was his first number one hit since his 1957 chart-topping "Chances Are". Johnny Mathis_sentence_72

The duo released a follow-up duet, their version of "You're All I Need to Get By," peaking at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100. Johnny Mathis_sentence_73

In 1982, they were credited for performing "Without Us" which became the theme song for the American sitcom television series, Family Ties, from its second season onwards. Johnny Mathis_sentence_74

The success of the duets with Williams prompted Mathis to record duets with a variety of partners, including Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Jane Olivor, Stephanie Lawrence, and Nana Mouskouri. Johnny Mathis_sentence_75

A compilation album also called Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, released by Sony Music in 1995 featured the title track among other songs by Mathis and Williams. Johnny Mathis_sentence_76

News and recent years Johnny Mathis_section_5

During 1980–1981, Mathis recorded an album with Chic's Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, I Love My Lady, which remained unreleased in its entirety until its 2017 appearance in the 68 disc collection The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection. Johnny Mathis_sentence_77

Three tracks had appeared on a Chic box set in 2010 and a fourth, the title track, on Mathis' Ultimate Collection in 2011 and the Chic Organization's Up All Night in 2013. Johnny Mathis_sentence_78

Mathis returned to the British Top 30 album chart in 2007 with the Sony BMG release The Very Best of Johnny Mathis in 2008 with the CD "A Night to Remember" and again in 2011 with "The Ultimate Collection" Johnny Mathis_sentence_79

Mathis continues to perform live, but from 2000 forward, he limited his concert performances to about fifty to sixty per year. Johnny Mathis_sentence_80

He is one of the last pop singers who travels with his own full orchestra (as opposed to a band). Johnny Mathis_sentence_81

Mathis, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, and Bruce Springsteen carry the distinction of having the longest tenure of any recording artist on the Columbia label. Johnny Mathis_sentence_82

With the exception of a four-year break to record for Mercury Records in the mid-1960s, he has been with Columbia Records throughout his career, from 1956 to 1963 and from 1968 to the present. Johnny Mathis_sentence_83

(Dylan spent a couple of years at Asylum Records then re-signed with Columbia; Streisand and Springsteen have never left Columbia.) Johnny Mathis_sentence_84

He has had five of his albums on the Billboard charts simultaneously, an achievement equaled by only two other singers: Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow. Johnny Mathis_sentence_85

He has released 200 singles and had 71 songs charted around the world. Johnny Mathis_sentence_86

Pieces of music from numerous Mathis albums continue to be used in motion pictures and television. Johnny Mathis_sentence_87

For example, "Chances Are" was played during an extraterrestrial visit in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Johnny Mathis_sentence_88

"Wonderful! Johnny Mathis_sentence_89 Wonderful!" Johnny Mathis_sentence_90

was used in episode "", albeit performed by a sound-alike singer. Johnny Mathis_sentence_91

Mathis's "Wonderful! Johnny Mathis_sentence_92

Wonderful!" Johnny Mathis_sentence_93

was also used in the conclusion to the long-running TV series Desperate Housewives as "Karen McClusky" died. Johnny Mathis_sentence_94

Various Mathis songs have been played more recently in the TV series Mad Men, which also features a recurring minor character named "John Mathis," and in the TV series Call the Midwife. Johnny Mathis_sentence_95

He has taped twelve of his own television specials and made over 300 television guest appearances, with 33 of them being on The Tonight Show. Johnny Mathis_sentence_96

Longtime Tonight Show host Johnny Carson said, "Johnny Mathis is the best ballad singer in the world." Johnny Mathis_sentence_97

He appeared on the show with Carson's successor, Jay Leno, on March 29, 2007, to sing "The Shadow of Your Smile" with the saxophonist Dave Koz. Johnny Mathis_sentence_98

Through the years, his songs (or parts of them) have been heard in 100 plus television shows and films around the globe. Johnny Mathis_sentence_99

His appearance on the Live by Request broadcast in May 1998 on the A&E Network had the largest television viewing audience of the series. Johnny Mathis_sentence_100

Also in 1989, Johnny sang the theme for the ABC daytime soap opera Loving. Johnny Mathis_sentence_101

Mathis served as narrator for '51 Dons, a 2014 documentary film about the integrated and undefeated 1951 San Francisco Dons football team. Johnny Mathis_sentence_102

The team was denied a chance to play in a bowl game because it refused to agree to not play its two African-American players, Ollie Matson and Burl Toler, who were childhood friends of Mathis. Johnny Mathis_sentence_103

On January 14, 2016, Mathis performed to a sold-out audience in The Villages as part of his "60th Anniversary Concert Tour." Johnny Mathis_sentence_104

Mathis appeared in the Season 14 finale of Criminal Minds, "Truth or Dare", in which he played himself as an old friend of David Rossi and served as best man at Rossi's wedding. Johnny Mathis_sentence_105

Personal life Johnny Mathis_section_6

Despite missing the Olympic high-jump trials, he retains enthusiasm for sports. Johnny Mathis_sentence_106

He is an avid golfer, with nine holes in one to his credit. Johnny Mathis_sentence_107

He has hosted several Johnny Mathis Golf Tournaments in the United Kingdom and the US. Johnny Mathis_sentence_108

Since 1985, he has been hosting a charity golf tournament in Belfast sponsored by Shell corporation, and the annual Johnny Mathis Invitational Track & Field Meet has continued at San Francisco State University since it started in 1982. Johnny Mathis_sentence_109

He also enjoys cooking and in 1982, he published a cookbook called Cooking for You Alone. Johnny Mathis_sentence_110

Mathis has undergone rehabilitation for both alcohol and prescription drug addictions, and he has supported many organizations through the years, including the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the YWCA and YMCA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the NAACP. Johnny Mathis_sentence_111

Mathis was quoted in a 1982 Us Magazine article, stating: "Homosexuality is a way of life that I've grown accustomed to." Johnny Mathis_sentence_112

Mathis later said that that comment was supposed to have been off the record and did not publicly discuss his sexual orientation for many years after that. Johnny Mathis_sentence_113

In 2006, Mathis said that his silence had been because of death threats he received as a result of that 1982 article. Johnny Mathis_sentence_114

On April 13, 2006, Mathis granted a podcast interview with The Strip in which he talked about the subject once again, and how some of his reluctance to speak on the subject was partially generational. Johnny Mathis_sentence_115

During an interview with CBS News Sunday Morning on May 14, 2017, Mathis discussed the Us Magazine article and confirmed he is gay. Johnny Mathis_sentence_116

"I come from San Francisco. Johnny Mathis_sentence_117

It's not unusual to be gay in San Francisco. Johnny Mathis_sentence_118

I've had some girlfriends, some boyfriends, just like most people. Johnny Mathis_sentence_119

But I never got married, for instance. Johnny Mathis_sentence_120

I knew that I was gay." Johnny Mathis_sentence_121

Mathis spoke to many news sources, including CBS, about his sexuality and his story about coming out. Johnny Mathis_sentence_122

Honors and awards Johnny Mathis_section_7

Grammys Johnny Mathis_section_8

In 2003, the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded Mathis the Lifetime Achievement Award. Johnny Mathis_sentence_123

This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy's National Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artist significance to the field of recording. Johnny Mathis_sentence_124

Grammy Hall of Fame Johnny Mathis_section_9

Mathis has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings – in 1998 for "Chances Are", in 2002 for "Misty", and in 2008 for "It's Not for Me to Say". Johnny Mathis_sentence_125

Johnny Mathis_table_general_1

Grammy Hall of Fame AwardsJohnny Mathis_cell_1_0_0
Year RecordedJohnny Mathis_header_cell_1_1_0 TitleJohnny Mathis_header_cell_1_1_1 GenreJohnny Mathis_header_cell_1_1_2 LabelJohnny Mathis_header_cell_1_1_3 Year InductedJohnny Mathis_header_cell_1_1_4
1957Johnny Mathis_cell_1_2_0 "It's Not for Me to Say"Johnny Mathis_cell_1_2_1 Traditional Pop (Single)Johnny Mathis_cell_1_2_2 ColumbiaJohnny Mathis_cell_1_2_3 2008Johnny Mathis_cell_1_2_4
1959Johnny Mathis_cell_1_3_0 "Misty"Johnny Mathis_cell_1_3_1 Traditional Pop (Single)Johnny Mathis_cell_1_3_2 ColumbiaJohnny Mathis_cell_1_3_3 2002Johnny Mathis_cell_1_3_4
1957Johnny Mathis_cell_1_4_0 "Chances Are"Johnny Mathis_cell_1_4_1 Traditional Pop (Single)Johnny Mathis_cell_1_4_2 ColumbiaJohnny Mathis_cell_1_4_3 1998Johnny Mathis_cell_1_4_4

Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Johnny Mathis_section_10

On June 21, 2014, Mathis was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall Of Fame along with Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones, and Nat King Cole (whose daughter Natalie Cole accepted the award on his behalf). Johnny Mathis_sentence_126

The awards were presented by the Center for the Performing Arts artistic director Michael Feinstein. Johnny Mathis_sentence_127

Defined on their website, "Conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook, the Hall of Fame honors performers and composers responsible for creating America's soundtrack." Johnny Mathis_sentence_128

Other Johnny Mathis_section_11

In 1978, his hit duet "The Last Time I Felt Like This" from the film Same Time, Next Year was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Johnny Mathis_sentence_129

Mathis and Jane Olivor sang the song at the Academy Awards ceremony, in his second performance at the Oscars. Johnny Mathis_sentence_130

His first occurred 20 years earlier in 1958, when he sang "Wild Is the Wind" by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington from the movie of the same name. Johnny Mathis_sentence_131

He was also awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Johnny Mathis_sentence_132

In 2007, Mathis was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Johnny Mathis_sentence_133

In 1988, Johnny appeared as a guest vocalist, accompanied by Henry Mancini, on Late Night with David Letterman to sing Henry's theme to the "Viewer Mail" segment. Johnny Mathis_sentence_134

In 2011, Mathis received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member General Colin Powell. Johnny Mathis_sentence_135

In 2017, Mathis's alma mater San Francisco State University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Johnny Mathis_sentence_136

Mathis attended San Francisco State for three semesters before withdrawing in 1956 to pursue his music career. Johnny Mathis_sentence_137

Discography Johnny Mathis_section_12

Main article: Johnny Mathis discography Johnny Mathis_sentence_138

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Mathis.