Johnny Mathis to Return to Segerstrom Center, 11/8

Johnny Mathis to Return to Segerstrom Center, 11/8

It will be a "Wonderful, Wonderful" evening of music as the immensely popular recording artist Johnny Mathis returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts for one night only on Saturday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Segerstrom Hall. Celebrating his 58th year in the music industry and a sublime vocalist whose approach to pop music eclipses passing fads and trends, Mathis has performed songs in an incredible variety of styles and categories - from music composed for stage and film to golden era jazz standards and contemporary pop hits - all of which has assured his reputation as one of the most enduring vocalists in music history. The program will include beloved hits such as, "Chances Are," "Misty," "A Certain Smile," and much more.

Tickets to Johnny Mathis start at $59 and will go on sale Sunday, September 21 at 10 a.m. PT. Single tickets will be available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about groups of 20 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. The TTY number is (714) 556-2746.

The fourth of seven children, John Royce Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas, later moving to San Francisco with his family. He learned an appreciation of music from his father, and as a child, Mathis sang in the church choir, at school functions and community events, for visitors in their home as well as in amateur shows in the San Francisco area.

While at college, a fellow student invited Mathis to the Black Hawk Night Club for a jam session. Helen Noga, co-owner of the club, heard him sing and decided to manage his career. When Noga finally convinced George Avakian - then head of Jazz A&R at Columbia - to see Mathis perform at the club, he sent the now-famous telegram to his record company: "Have found phenomenal 19 year old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts."

In 1956, Mathis was asked to attend the trials for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia as a high jumper. At the same time, Columbia Records requested Mathis to come to New York to start arrangements for his first recording session. His father helped his son decide that his future best interests

were with the recording company. So, Mathis gave up his chance to become a member of the USA Olympic Team. He went to New York and recorded his first album in March of 1956, which was a collection of jazz oriented renditions of popular standards titled Johnny Mathis: A New Sound in Popular Song.

Mathis remained in New York and landed bookings at the Village Vanguard, The Blue Angel and Basin Street East. Under the tutelage of Columbia producer Mitch Miller, he recorded two singles, "Wonderful, Wonderful" and "It's Not for Me to Say." These songs were to become among the most popular of his all- time greatest hits. Both songs reached their peaks on the Billboard pop chart in July 1957. These successes were followed by the monumental single "Chances Are," which became Mathis' first No. 1 Hit.