Listen up for the golden-voiced Johnny Mathis
When thinking about the most successful American singers of the last century, Johnny Mathis might not be the first to pop into one’s mind, but he should be close to the top of the list. Mathis, originally from Gilmer, Texas, is one of only three artists to have had five albums on the Billboard charts at the same time. (The other two are Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow.) Most artists would be happy to have a few albums rumble onto the Billboard charts. The silky-voiced Mathis has had 73 different albums reach chart positions.
Now 82, the easy-listening favorite still tours with his own orchestra, one of the last remaining frontmen to carry on this tradition. His first No. 1 hit was “Chances Are” in 1957, the smooth, piano-backed track that showcases just how wholesome Mathis’s voice is. Stunningly, 20 years later in 1978, Mathis returned to the top of the charts with the duet “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” a soft-rock gem with Deniece William that slides right in there with classics of the era. Mathis continues to tour, reminding audience why he is so important to American music.
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, starting at $33 plus tax and fee. 702.749.2000