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Johnny Mathis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 30 September 1935Gilmer, Texas, USA
Birth NameJohn Royce Mathis
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

He was the fourth of seven children born to Clement and Mildred Mathis. His father performed briefly in vaudeville and exposed all of the Mathis siblings to music. Before he entered his teens, young John received vocal lessons from Connie Cox in exchange for performing chores around her home. When he entered San Francisco State College he originally had planned to become a physical education instructor. At San Francisco State he broke classmate and basketball great Bill Russell's high jump record. While in college he began performing at a small local bar called The International Settlement, where he met performers Maya Angelou and Joan Weldon. Later performances at a club called The Blackhawk caught the attention of Columbia Records producer George Avakian. When Avakian called for Mathis to make his first recording, the young singer and then college track star had to make a unique decision: whether to record or to tryout for the 1956 Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia. He chose to make his first single "Wonderful, Wonderful". To date he has recorded over 100 albums with sales in excess of 180.0 million. More than 60 of his albums have been certified gold and/or platinum."Heavenly"remained on the pop charts for 295 weeks. His 25th anniversary double LP stayed on the billboard top 100 album charts a record 490 weeks from its' release in 1981 until 1990. An avid golfer and gourmet cook, Mathis continues to record and perform at the world's most prestigious venues and has earned a permanent place in American music history.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Leslye Allen (L. J. Allen-2)

Trivia (17)

Early in his career, his then manager Helen Noga attempted to develop a feature film about the life of Black/Peruvian Indian saint Martin de Porres with Mathis portraying the Afro-Peruvian title role. This project, however, never reached fruition.
A shrewd financial investor, Mathis owns a Post Office in Wisconsin that he leases to the United States Postal Service.
Jazz pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi, who composed the music for A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and many other "Charlie Brown" TV specials was the featured pianist and then-unknown talent on Mathis' demonstration recordings for Columbia Records in 1956.
One of the most financially ingenious artists in the recording industry, Mathis has full responsibility and creative control of the production of his recordings through Jon Mat Records, Inc. where he chooses his own songs, producers, etc. while Columbia Records remains responsible for distribution.
Just two years after his first recordings, his 1958 record album "Johnny's Greatest Hits" (Columbia Records) started the "Greatest Hits" trend for recording artists and record companies; every record company thereafter began to release "Greatest Hits" albums for their recording artists.
Track and Field Tournament at San Francisco State University, the Johnny Mathis Invitational, is named in his honour.
As of 2004, he has had the longest stay of any popular artist with Columbia Records to date, having recorded for them almost exclusively since 1956.
Won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award on 23 February 2003.
Was a featured vocalist on the Grammy nominated (2004 awards) album "XXL" by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. Composer-arranger-pianist-saxophonist-band leader Gordon Goodwin has remained a longtime friend of Mathis and was once his former pianist.
Mathis has had a string of hits, all on Columbia records, stretching from the 1950s through the 1980s and beyond. Hit singles include "It's Not For Me to Say," "Chances Are," "Wonderful! Wonderful!," "A Certain Smile," "Misty," "Gina," "What Will Mary Say?," and "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" (Duet with Denise Williams). Hit albums include "Wonderful! Wonderful!," "Open Fire, Two Guitars," "Johnny's Greatest Hits," "Heavenly," "Faithfully," "Warm," "Merry Christmas," and "Up, Up, and Away."
Referenced in the song 'The Call of the Wild (Merengue)' by David Byrne on his 1989 album, 'Rei Momo'.
An avid golfer, he hit his fifth hole-in-one at the 176 yard, 16th hole at the Riviera Country Club in April 2004.
Went to high school with Lee Meriwether.
Has the distinction of having an album - "Johnny Mathis' Greatest Hits"
  • on the Billboard charts for longer than any other album in history:


490 weeks, or the equivalent of 9-1/2 years.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1501 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Recording duet with Ray Charles for Charles' upcoming compact disc album of duets.
As usual, still performing at prestigious venues throughout the United States.

Personal Quotes (2)

For the first 20 years of my life, I think, I sang standing with my eyes closed and my fists clenched. Mostly it didn't bother the people in the audience, but it did bother the critics, so much that I got horrible reviews, terrible. They said 'He has no stage presence', 'He's shy', 'He doesn't know what to do between songs', 'He fidgets', 'When he sings, he closes his eyes and just goes off and...' Those reviews bothered me a great deal. But I lived with it. And then finally one day all the reviews became positive. And I hadn't changed at all, it's just that they finally decided that they liked what I was doing.
If you really want to learn about a person, play a round of golf with him or her. You'll learn how they treat their dog, their husband or wife, and their children. You'll learn how they react to missed opportunities, because that's all golf is--a lot of missed opportunities.

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