Johnny Mathis

From Academic Kids

Johnny Mathis (born September 30, 1935 in Gilmer, Texas) is an American popular singer, and one of the few remaining male vocalists associated with Traditional Pop music.

Mathis grew up in San Francisco, and began singing publicly at school and church events shortly after his father discovered his talents. His father wisely found him a voice teacher when he was around 13 years old. He remains one of the very few popular singers who received years of professional voice training that included opera. He also was an athletic talent, earning four athletic letters in high school and a subsequent athletic scholarship to San Francisco State College; while there he was a basketball teammate with basketball great Bill Russell. Mathis also remains a large part of San Francisco State College's sports history--in 1954 he broke Russell's high jump record by jumping 6' 5." At the time only four Olympic athletes had managed to clear this height. While training to become a teacher, he was talent-spotted at a concert and signed by Columbia Records. His most difficult decision was deciding whether to go to the Olympic tryouts he had been invited to or go to make his first recordings which were released in 1956. While Mathis opted for a recording career, he has never completely abandoned his enthusiasm for sports. An avid golfer who has completed a minimum of 5 holes-in-one, he has hosted several tournaments in his name in the USA and the United Kingdom.

Although frequently described, if not pigeonholed, as a "Romantic" singer, his vast discography covers Jazz, Traditional Pop, Brazilian & Spanish music, Soul/R & B, Soft Rock, and Broadway/Tin Pan Alley Standards. He enjoyed some early cinematic visibility when he sang one of his first hits, "It's Not For Me To Say", in the film, Lizzie, in which he also had a small acting role. His hit songs include "Wonderful Wonderful", "A Certain Smile", "Chances Are", "The Twelfth of Never", "Misty", "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late", and "I'm Coming Home", and the original recording of the Thom Bell-Linda Creed composition "Life Is a Song Worth Singing", later made popular by Soul/R&B vocalist Teddy Pendergrass. Mathis also remains highly synonymous with holiday music having recorded six original albums of Christmas music. He has recorded over 100 albums of original music, sold more than 180 million albums worldwide, and has the distinction of having the longest stay of any recording artist on the Columbia Record label. He remains one of the few recording artists who have recorded original material and remained a popular concert attraction in six decades beginning in the 1950s.

See also

External links

  • Official website: Johnny (
  • All Music Guide's Mathis discography: Mathis, Johnny-AMG (

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