Date added: 25 Jul 2017
John Royce "Johnny" Mathis (born September 30, 1935) is an American singer of popular music and jazz. The critics called him "the velvet voice".
His first LP record album was released in late 1956 when he was just 21 years old. In 1958, Johnny’s Greatest Hits was released. The album spent an unprecedented 491 consecutive weeks through 1967 (nine and a half years) on the Billboard top 100 album charts, earning him a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.
In 1967 he was 32 years old and had already released over 45 albums, with a significant number achieving gold or platinum. He had just split from his previous manager and now established Jon Mat Records to join Global Records he had founded to produce his Mercury albums.
While Mathis continued to make music, the ascent of the Beatles and early 1970s album rock kept his adult contemporary recordings out of the pop singles charts, until he experienced a career renaissance in the late 1970s.
Mathis, Bob Dylan, and Barbra Streisand carry the distinction of having the longest tenure of any recording artist on the Columbia Records label. With the exception of a four-year break to record for Mercury Records in the mid-1960s, he has been with Columbia Records throughout his career, from 1956 to 1963 and from 1968 to the present.
He has had five of his albums on the Billboard charts simultaneously, an achievement equalled by only two other singers: Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow. He has released 200 singles and had 71 songs charted around the world.
Johnny Mathis joined the RMS Queen Mary at Southampton for the ship's final cruise. Read the interview below: