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 SCFTA.org, 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.

Columbia Records continued to release albums with Mathis singing beautiful and romantic ballads, classic standards and the best songs from Broadway musicals. These albums, like the singles, became immediate successes with sales in the millions. It was not uncommon for Mathis to have as many as four albums on the Billboard Top Albums chart at the same time.

In late 1959, Mathis recorded another hit song, the Erroll Garner composition, "Misty." In 1958, two years after being signed by Columbia, Johnny's Greatest Hits was released. It began a "Greatest Hits" tradition copied by every record company since then. Johnny's Greatest Hits became one of the most popular albums of all time and spent an unprecedented 490 continuous weeks (almost 10 years) on the Billboard Top Albums Chart. This record has been noted in the Guinness Book of World Records.

According to record historian Joel Whitburn, Mathis is one of only five recording artists to have Top 40 hits spanning each of the four decades from the '50s to the '80s. And as of 2013, he has now had a charting hit in every decade of his career. Amazingly, his second No. 1 hit single, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" (recorded with Deniece Williams), came almost 21 years after his very first No.1 hit single, "Chances Are."

In June 1972, he was awarded his own star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has participated in the Academy® Awards presentation many times to sing songs nominated in the Best Song category. He has received four Grammy® nominations: The first was for his song "Misty," the second and third for his albums In a Sentimental Mood/Mathis Sings Ellington and Isn't it Romantic. His fourth nomination occurred in 2010 for his album Let It Be Me - Mathis in Nashville, his first foray into classic country music.

Best-known for his supremely popular hits, such as "Chances Are," "It's Not For Me To Say," "Wonderful, Wonderful" and "Misty". Mathis has recorded more than 80 albums and 6 Christmas albums. During his extensive career, he has had three songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, achieved 50 hits on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and in 2003, Mathis was given the Lifetime Achievement Award

from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds Kia, Official Automotive Partner of the Center and United Airlines, Official Airline of the Center. Orange Coast Magazine is the Print Media Partner of the Cabaret Series.