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. 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 s -- 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 Despite the name talent and choice of standards, it was mostly ignored upon release. 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 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 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 's Because You Loved Me: Songs of Diane Warren and 's Mathis on Broadway.
Mathis followed the Broadway album with 's The Christmas Album and 's Isn't it Romantic: The Standards Album, both of which found the iconic vocalist in fine form. In , Mathis released the Walter Afanasieff-produced and arranged A Night to Remember, his first straight-ahead adult contemporary album in over a decade.
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Chances are you have heard Johnny Mathis sing many times in your life. On the radio. At the movies or on TV. When you read his name just now, lyrics from his best-known romantic ballads might have come into your head:. OK, they sound better when he sings them.
Which he will do in a grand concert Sunday in Copley Symphony Hall, backed by a piece orchestra and his four-man rhythm band. The arrangements, by Percy Faith are superb. There're nothing more to say. Absolutely an amazing album. After hearing it on CD, I am furious with myself for not having enjoyed this great collection for all these years.
Johnny goes out of his "dreamy" romantic ballad style to give each of these songs a light tempo I listen to this CD now every day for 2 months. I recommend this 2 CD set to anyone who wants to hear the way a song should be sung and arranged. This was the third album Mathis made for Columbia, and in my opinion, is the best work he has ever done.
The album includes some wonderful standards and two songs that were new when the album was recorded. There isn't a dog among them!
It is difficult to pick a favorite among these songs but, after many plays, my choice is "I'm Glad There is You". I originally purchased this album on 33 LP back in the late 50's and I've been trying to find it on CD for years. The arrangements by Percy Faith are flawless and complement Johnny's singing perfectly. Johnny is in great voice for this album which gives credence to the first line of "While We're Young". All Mathis fans should love this album. The second album, "Swing Softly" is good too and shows Johnny's versatility, however, "Warm" is far and away the better.
This was one of my favorite Mathis albums from 30 plus years ago. With no turntable, I hadn't been able to listen to it for a long time, and even if I could, the record had scratches from playing so often. I was not disappointed when I listened to this disc, particularly the Swing Softly portion. Mathis is at the height of his "power," and it should be noted that this is one of the few albums he did that were up tempo, instead of his usual ballads. I would give this 2 disc album, again, particularly the songs on Swing Softly the highest rating possible.
A Bargain? This is not a bargain, This is a friggin steal. Two Johnny Mathis albums for less than what we pay for the new stuff. Someone at Sony marketing has definitely dropped the ball on this album. Why it is so difficult to find is beyond me. This is nowhere near the usual one hit plus twenty cut outs or "B" sides you usually get in one of these twofers. This album set hits the spot like a "balmy breeze on a night in May" or "like a cool mint julip on summer day.
How High The Moon 9. I Won't Dance You Better Go Now. Roger Whittaker. Nat "King" Cole. Anne Murray. Frank Sinatra. Patti Page. Johnny Mathis. Andy Williams. Sammy Davis Jr. Genres: Vocals.The notorious rendition of 'How High The Moon' off Ella's Mack The Knife (Live in Berlin) Album. I couldn't find this on youtube so I thought I'd better uplo.