John Royce Mathis, born on September 10, 1935, is a famous pop singer based in the U.S. He discovered his musical talent when he was young, prompting his father to buy him an old upright piano for 25 dollars. Mathis learned how to play the instrument, and by the time he was 13, he had already written his first song. Several months after his 13th birthday, his teacher, Connie Cox, offered to mentor him in exchange for work around her house. Since then, Mathis has maintained a successful career that spans six decades.
Johnny Mathis, the fourth of seven children, was born on September 10, 1935, to Clem Mathis and Mildred Boyd. When he was young, his family moved from Gilmer, Texas, to San Francisco’s Richmond District. After witnessing Mathis’ musical prowess at a young age, his father bought him a piano. Upon bringing it home, they quickly discovered that it didn’t fit through the front door. Clem then spent the night taking the piano apart before his eager son. The two spent much time bonding over their shared love of music, and the father later took his son to voice teacher Connie Cox, who offered to mentor him in exchange for work around her house. After six years of working together, Mathis had learned the vocal scales, classical and operatic singing, and voice production.
At George Washington High School, Mathis formed his first band alongside his friend Merl Saunders, who would later become a well-respected musician in his own right. Mathis was the star of his school’s basketball team and referred to as “the best all-around athlete to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area.” Following his graduation, Mathis began singing at the Black Hawk Club in San Francisco. He attracted the attention of Helen Noga, the club’s cofounder, who offered to become his music manager. Noga connected Mathis to George Avakian, the head of popular music artists and repertoire at Columbia Records, who was impressed with Mathis’ voice and decided to sign him.
Mathis embarked on a professional singing career and released his first long-playing record album, “Johnny Mathis: A New Sound in Popular Song.” He has since released numerous records throughout his six-decade career.
Johnny Mathis embarks on his professional singing career.
He releases two of his most famous songs, ‘It’s Not For Me To Say’ and ‘Wonderful! Wonderful!’
Mathis appears on the popular T.V. program “The Ed Sullivan Show,” attracting even more public attention.
On the 60th anniversary of his career, Mathis performs before a full house in The Villages.
Mathis plays himself in the season 14 finale of popular crime drama “Criminal Minds.”
Why We Love Johnny Mathis
He takes care of his body
Johnny Mathis is a sports enthusiast. When he was young, he used to participate in the high jump. Today, he is an avid golfer who plays almost every day.
He’s incredibly talented
Mathis has more than proven how talented he is. He’s been honored by many institutions for his musical contributions.
He’s a great cook
Apart from being a talented musician and athlete, Mathis also has skills in the kitchen. In 1982, he released his cookbook, “Cooking For You Alone.”
5 Surprising Facts
He’s an awarded singer
In 2003, the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded Johnny Mathis the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Grammys.
He’s a Hall of Famer
In 2014, Mathis was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame for his contributions to the music industry.
He lost his house
A fire destroyed Mathis’ Hollywood home in November 2015.
He’s a sports enthusiast
Mathis is a skilled golfer who has made nine holes in one.
He was in rehab
He has participated in several rehabilitation programs because of his alcohol and drug addictions.
Johnny Mathis FAQs
What made Johnny Mathis famous?
He’s a skilled singer known for his romantic ballads.
Was Johnny Mathis ever in the Olympics?
Mathis was invited to try out for the U.S. Olympic high-jump team but chose to record his first album instead.
Is Johnny Mathis still performing?
He has a tour scheduled across the U.S. from 2022 to 2023.
Johnny Mathis’s birthday dates