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Johnny Mathis The Singles, music news,

Johnny Mathis The Singles

Johnny Mathis 80th Celebrated With Box Set

by Roger Wink, VVN Music on July 30, 2015

in New Music,News

Johnny Mathis will turn 80 on September 30 and, five days earlier, Legacy Recordings will celebrate his career with the release of Johnny Mathis: The Singles.

The 4-CD box set compiles many single released by Mathis over the years along with tracks that were only on his previous compilations. 31 of the 87 tracks have never been available before on CD and, for the first time, every non-LP single side released for the label between 1956 and 1981 is included.

Mathis said “When over the course of a career you record as many songs as I have recorded, you tend to forget a few. Revisiting this music was a complete surprise. I was thrilled beyond belief that some of the songs that I recorded specifically for single records, some of which had simply disappeared once they had been released, are now going to be heard again. Listening to this collection, not only was I amazed at how great it sounds, but I was being reminded of some songs I had totally forgotten. It is my greatest hope that my fans will share my enthusiasm.”

Johnny Mathis is one of the longest-running artists on the Columbia Records label, with 17 million RIAA certified album and singles sales in the US alone. A sublime vocalist whose approach to pop music transcends passing fads and trends, Johnny Mathis has performed songs in an incredible variety of styles and categories, from music composed for stage and film to golden era jazz standards, contemporary pop hits, and holiday music both sacred and secular, assuring his reputation as one of the most enduring traditional pop vocalists in music history.

Perhaps best-known for his landmark singles (three of his recordings, Chances Are, It’s Not For Me To Say, and Misty, have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame) Mathis was one of the very first musical artists to embrace the album concept and record fully-realized thematically and sonically coherent collections of songs. His 1958 release, Johnny’s Greatest Hits inaugurated the ongoing “greatest hits” anthology phenomenon becoming one of the most popular albums of all time after spending an unprecedented 490 continuous weeks (almost ten years) on the Billboard Top Albums Chart; 1959’s Heavenly spent 295 consecutive weeks on the same chart. Johnny Mathis was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2003.

Mathis had 18 Top 40 hits between 1957 and 1963 and 19 Top 40 albums between 1957 and 1978. He has earned 10 gold, 4 platinum and 2 multi-platinum awards from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Mathis was a star student athlete in San Francisco who sang weekends at a local jazz club. Columbia Records’ George Avakian was in attendance during one performance, and famously wired back to the label office: “Have found phenomenal 19-year old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts.” After his jazzy debut LP was largely ignored upon its release in 1956, Mathis began working closely with Columbia’s vice-president and producer Mitch Miller to develop an unbeatable lush pop style, picking romantic ballads that made extensive use of his recognizable, vibrato-heavy croon.

During his time on Columbia, Mathis was essentially recording for two markets: the singles market and the albums market. While he would enjoy success in both realms, it was his non-LP singles that first introduced the world to his distinct gifts: in 1957, his first Columbia single Wonderful! Wonderful! peaked at No. 14; follow-up It’s Not For Me To Say rose to No. 5, and Chances Are topped the charts.

Altogether, Mathis logged 18 singles on Billboard’s Top 40 between 1957 and 1963 (and has seen 43 of his singles chart on Billboard Hot 100 from 1957 to 1981). After a tenure on his own Global label from 1963 to 1967 (initially distributed by Mercury and chronicled by Legacy in The Complete Global Albums Collection box set), Johnny returned to Columbia, where he records to this day.

It should be noted that, while the album is being billed as “every Johnny Mathis recording which was first issued for the singles market” there are some notable exceptions missing including Misty, Maria and Stardust.

The track list (all Billboard Hot 100 chart unless noted):

Disc 1
When Sunny Gets Blue (b-side of Wonderful! Wonderful!)
Wonderful! Wonderful! (1957 / #14)
It’s Not For Me To Say (1957 / #5)
Warm And Tender (b-side of It’s Not For Me To Say)
Chances Are (1957 / #1)
The Twelfth Of Never (1957 / #9)
Wild Is The Wind (1957 / #22)
No Love (But Your Love) (1957 / #21)
When I Am With You (b-side of Come to Me)
Come To Me (1958 / #22)
All The Time (1958 / #21)
Teacher, Teacher (1958 / #21)
Let It Rain (b-side of A Certain Smile)
A Certain Smile (1958 / #14)
Call Me (1958 / #21)
Stairway To The Sea (b-side of Call Me)
You Are Beautiful (1959 / #60)
Let’s Love (1959 / #44)
Someone (1959 / #35)
Very Much In Love (1959 / #88 Cashbox)
I Look At You (bonus track)
The Flame Of Love (bonus track)

Disc 2
Small World (1959 / #20)
You Are Everything To Me (1959 / #109)
The Story Of Our Love (1959 / #109)
The Best Of Everything (1959 / #62)
Cherie (b-side of The Best Of Everything)
Starbright (1960 / #25)
All Is Well (1960 / #106 Cashbox)
Hey Love (b-side of Maria)
My Love For You (1960 / #47)
Oh That Feeling (b-side of My Love For You)
How To Handle A Woman (1960 / #64)
While You’re Young (b-side of How to Handle a Woman)
Jenny (1961 / #118)
You Set My Heart To Music (1961 / #107)
Should I Wait (b-side of Laurie, My Love)
Laurie, My Love (1961 / DNC)
Wasn’t The Summer Short? (1961 / #89)
There You Are (b-side of Wasn’t The Summer Short?)
Christmas Eve (1961 / DNC)
My Kind Of Christmas (b-side of Christmas Eve)
Sweet Thursday (1962 / #99)
One Look (b-side of Sweet Thursday)
Unaccustomed As I Am (b-side of Marianna)
Marianna (1962 / #86)
I’ll Never Be Lonely Again (1962 / DNC)

Disc 3
That’s The Way It Is (1962 / #135 Cashbox)
Gina (1962 / #6 Pop / #2 Adult Contemporary (AC))
I Love Her That’s Why (b-side of Gina)
What Will My Mary Say (1963 / #9 Pop / #3 AC / #21 R&B)
Quiet Girl (b-side of What Will My Mary Say)
Every Step Of The Way (1963 / #30 Pop / #10 AC)
Sooner Or Later (1963 / #84)
All The Sad Young Men (b-side of I’ll Search My Heart)
I’ll Search My Heart (1963 / #90)
Don’t Talk To Me (1967 / #21 AC)
Long Winter Nights (b-side of Among the First to Know)
Among The First To Know (1967 / DNC)
Night Dreams (b-side of You Make Me Think About You)
Whoever You Are, I Love You (b-side of I’ll Never Fall in Love Again)
For All We Know (b-side of Odds and Ends)
The Last Time I Saw Her (b-side of Wherefore and Why)
Wherefore And Why (1970 / #17 AC)
Darling Lili (b-side of Pieces of Dreams)
Sign Of The Dove (b-side of Christmas Is…)
Christmas Is…(1970 / DNC)
I Was There (b-side of Ten Times Forever More)

Disc 4
Ten Times Forever More (1971 / #32 AC)
Evie (1971 / DNC)
Think About Things (b-side of Evie)
If We Only Have Love (1972 / DNC)
This Way Mary (b-side of If We Only Have Love)
Sometimes (b-side of Make It Easy on Yourself)
I (b-side of Soul and Inspiration/Just Once in My Life)
Take Good Care Of Her (1973 / #40 AC)
Walking Tall (b-side of Take Good Care of Her)
Turn The Lights Down (b-side of When a Child is Born)
The Very First Christmas Day (b-side of Christmas in the City of Angels)
Christmas In The City Of The Angels (1979 / DNC)
The Lord’s Prayer (b-side of When a Child is Born)
When A Child Is Born (1980 / DNC)
Nothing Between Us But Love (1981 / DNC)
It Doesn’t Have To Hurt Every Time (bonus track)
There! I’ve Said It Again (bonus track)
Three Times A Lady (bonus track)
The Way You Look Tonight (bonus track)


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