Looking to hire Johnny Mathis for a private party, fundraiser, gala, public concert, wedding, college, fair or festival worldwide?
BookingEntertainment.com makes it easy to get available dates, pricing and fees for booking Johnny Mathis.
Fill out an entertainment request form and a Johnny Mathis booking agent who can assist you in booking Johnny Mathis will get back to you to discuss booking Johnny Mathis for your event.
Want to talk about your event now? Give us a call at (212) 645-0555 and one of our booking agents will be happy help you immediately.
Our office is staffed from 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM EST, Monday - Friday.
The fourth of seven children, John Royce Mathis was born on September 30, 1935 in Gilmer, Texas to Clem and Mildred Mathis. As a small boy, the family moved to Post Street in San Francisco. It was there that he learned an appreciation of music from his father who taught him his first song, “My Blue Heaven”. At age eight, his father purchased an old upright piano for $25. When he brought it home, it wouldn't fit through the front door. So that evening, Johnny stayed up all night to watch his father dismantle the piano, get it into the small living room of their basement apartment and then reassemble it. Clem Mathis, who worked briefly as a musician back in Texas playing the piano and singing on stage, would continue to teach his son many songs and routines. Johnny had proven to be the most eager of the children to learn all about music. He sang in the church choir, school functions, community events, for visitors in their home as well as amateur shows in the San Francisco area.
Johnny was 13 years old when Clem took him to see Connie Cox, a Bay Area voice teacher, who agreed to take on the youngster in exchange for his doing odd jobs around her house. Johnny studied with Connie for six years learning vocal scales and exercises, voice production, classical and operatic skills.
At George Washington High School, Johnny was known not only for his singing ability but his athleticism as well. He became a star athlete on the track and field team as a high jumper and hurdler and played on the basketball team.
In 1954, Johnny enrolled at San Francisco State College with the intention of being an English and Physical Education teacher. While there, Johnny set a high jump record of 6’-5 1/2”. This is still on the College’s Top 15 list and was only two inches short of the Olympic record of the time. Just as when he was in high school, Johnny’s name was frequently mentioned in the sports sections of the Northern California newspapers. He was often referred to as “the best all-around athlete to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area”.
A fellow student whose sextet was working at the Black Hawk nightclub brought Johnny in for a Sunday afternoon jam session. It was at the Black Hawk that Helen Noga, co-owner of the club, first heard him sing. She decided that she wanted to manage his career.
In early September of 1955, Johnny landed a job singing weekends at Ann Dee’s 440 Club. After repeated attempts, Helen convinced George Avakian, then head of Jazz A&R at Columbia, to see him. Avakian came to the club, heard Johnny sing and 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.”
Avakian left for New York after telling Johnny that he would eventually send for him. Johnny continued his studies at San Francisco State and gained additional fame as a high jumper. In early 1956, Johnny was asked to attend the trials for the 1956 Olympic teams that would travel to Melbourne, Australia that summer. At the same time, Columbia Records requested that Johnny come to New York to start arrangements for his first recording session. Clem helped his son decide that his future and best interests were with the recording company. So, Johnny gave up his chance to become a member of the USA Olympic Team. He went to New York to record his first album in March of 1956.
The first album was a collection of jazz oriented renditions of popular standards entitled: Johnny Mathis: A New Sound In Popular Song. It included jazz musicians Gil Evans, John Lewis and Teo Macero and songs like “Angel Eyes”, “Easy to Love” and “Babalu”. The album enjoyed only moderate success because jazz vocal albums were not good sellers. Nevertheless, Johnny remained in New York and landed bookings at some of the leading nightclubs such as the Village Vanguard, The Blue Angel and Basin Street East.
Soon, Columbia placed Johnny under the supervision of producer Mitch Miller. Mitch favored using Johnny’s voice to sing soft, romantic ballads. At his second recording session, in the fall of 1956, Johnny recorded two singles. These songs were to become among his most popular all-time greatest hits: “Wonderful, Wonderful” and “It’s Not For Me To Say.” Subsequently, MGM Studios signed Johnny to sing “It’s Not For Me To Say” in the film Lizzie . He played a tavern piano bar singer. In 1958, Johnny made another motion picture appearance. This time it was for 20th Century Fox in A Certain Smile. In this movie, he sang the title song playing himself in an elegant nightclub scene. Since then, Johnny’s voice has been used in countless Hollywood movies for theme songs, background music and to enhance a particular setting or segment.
“Wonderful, Wonderful” and “It’s Not For Me To Say” reached their peaks on the BILLBOARD pop chart in July of 1957. These successes were followed by the monumental single “Chances Are” which became Johnny’s first #1 hit.
In June of 1957, Johnny appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show where he was introduced to the record buying public and became a national celebrity and household name. Columbia Records continued to release albums of Johnny 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 Johnny to have as many as four albums on the BILLBOARD Top Albums chart at the same time. In late 1959, Johnny recorded another song that became synonymous with the name of Johnny Mathis, the Erroll Garner composition, “Misty”.
Johnny’s accomplishments are numerous and varied. He holds many records and has set many precedents in the music industry. In 1958, two years after being signed by Columbia Records, Johnny’s Greatest Hits was released. It began a “Greatest Hits” tradition copied by every record company since then. Johnny’s Greatest Hits went on to become one of the most popular albums of all time and spent an unprecedented 490 continuous weeks (almost ten 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, Johnny is one of only five recording artists to have Top 40 Hits spanning each of the four decades since 1955. Amazingly, his second #1 Hit Single, “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” (recorded with Deniece Williams), came almost 21 years after his very first #1 Hit Single, “Chances Are”.
Johnny has been honored to make several appearances before various heads of state. Starting in June of 1973, he sang at a State Dinner held in honor of the President of Liberia. In 1978, Johnny sang for the British Royal Family at A Command Performance held at The London Palladium. He performed for President and Mrs. Reagan at the State Dinner held in honor of the Prime Minister of Japan in April of 1987. Four years later in April of 1991, he sang for President and Mrs. Bush in honor of the President of Nicaragua. Most recently, in May of 1994, Johnny sang for President and Mrs. Clinton (along with the other five living First Ladies) at a very special First Ladies Tribute.
He has also been honored by entertainment heads of state. In June of 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 the song nominated in the “Best Song” category.
Johnny has received three Grammy nominations. The first was for “Misty” in 1960 in the category of Best Male Vocal Performance - Single Record or Track. The second was in 1992 for "In a Sentimental Mood / Mathis Sings Ellington" in the category of Best Traditional Pop Performance. The most recent nomination was in 2006 for "Isn't it Romantic", in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
Johnny has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame two times so far. In 1998, he made the famous Hall's list with "Chances Are" (Columbia Traditional Pop Single 1957). In 2002 he made the list again with "Misty" (Columbia Traditional Pop single 1959). Most impressive of all is his 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
In 2004 he sang “Over the Rainbow” with Ray Charles on Mr. Charles’ “Genius Loves Company”. (Johnny was very honored that Mr. Charles requested the song be played at his memorial service.) Also in 2004, Johnny recorded “Isn’t It Romantic” a standards CD that was released in February 2005.
2006 marks Johnny’s 50th anniversary as a recording artist, and it’s been a busy year for him. Johnny Mathis – Gold: A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration was released in October and Johnny Mathis - Gold : A 50th Anniversary Celebration will be released in late November. He has recorded songs with Bette Midler, Dave Koz and Mannheim Steamroller. He’s currently working on a PBS television special to be aired in late November/early December titled “Wonderful, Wonderful”. This special will be available on DVD titled, Johnny Mathis – Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration. He was honored with the Society of Singers Ella award in September at a gala event in Beverly Hills. Also in September, Johnny traveled to England to perform there for the first time in ten years. Eager fans packed the three concerts with attendance of over 22,000.
Johnny Mathis Song List
Fill out the form below and your assigned agent will contact you quickly to see how Online Talent can best serve you and your clients.
This non-obligatory and confidential form was created for our booking agents to get a clear understanding of who you would like to book as well as your proposed date, budget and venue.
Our 20 years of agency / management relationships help you get the best possible price and ensures that your talent buying experience is handled with honesty and integrity. You can also talk to us about producing the entire musical portion of the event for one flat fee with no surprises...
Want to talk about your event now? Give us a call at (212) 645-0555 and one of our booking agents will be happy to help you immediately.
Our office is staffed from 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM EST, Monday - Friday.
NEED HELP? Please feel free to email us with questions at any time
"When you are looking to book big name entertainment for an event, there are a number of pop up booking agencies on the web that if they are reputable, simply book the acts and leave you to handle all of the responsibilities of producing the entertainment portion of your event. Our entertainment booking agents have been personally trained by me to ensure that the entire booking process and event production is handled flawlessly and with the personal touch that I make sure goes into every corporate event, private party or public concert that we handle. My reputation is on the line for every show we do, and I ensure that both our clients and the acts / celebrities that we book are treated to our unprecedented level of service.
Let our entertainment agent specialists show you how we can save you up to 30% on your production costs and why so many of our clients come back to our booking agency year after year to enjoy our hassle free service when they want to book big name entertainment for corporate events, private parties and public concerts worldwide."
CEO & President - Steve Einzig
"The first thing I do when I am planning my event for next year is call Steve at BookingEntertainment. Our event is at the Waldorf Astoria every year, and the team at BookingEntertainment delivers a perfect experience year after year. No matter what time we get in the room, BookingEntertainment makes it work."
J.T - Hospital Fundraiser - New York - (Stevie Wonder, Carole King, The Doobie Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Don Henley, Chicago, Hall & Oates, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Natasha Bedingfield)
"They make corporate event planning a snap!! When we were looking for an entertainment agency while in the party planning stage of our event, BookingEntertainment.com was the only talent agency that we felt comfortable with. They delivered in a huge way. We loved dealing with them and the event was perfect."
M.B - Private Client - Barbados - (Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, Bryan Adams, Kenny Rogers)
"Our events with BookingEntertainment have been perfect. They saved us over $200,000 in costs that were needlessly spent in previous years."
R.W - Fundraiser - Las Vegas - (Billy Joel, Stevie Nicks, Hall & Oates)
"BookingEntertainment is one of my favorite vendors. As the corporate meeting planner for a Fortune 500 company, my logistics sometimes incorporate more than 1000 people over several days of meetings and events. Year after year, the final evening concert is a SMASH!! With BookingEntertainment ensuring every last detail is attended to, I am free to relax and enjoy the show with my clients and colleagues."
B.M - Fortune 500 Company - Dallas - (Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Penn & Teller)
"Booking Entertainment is a first-rate company that provides more than just booking services. From solid recommendations that fit the target audience to top-notch event production, Booking Entertainment truly delivers. I've been working with Steve Einzig and his staff for over two years on all of our events and highly value their professionalism. Once I have made the call, I know that I don't have to worry about the entertainment for the event. That kind of comfort and assurance is priceless."
A.W - Corporate Event - Atlantic City and Baltimore (Lionel Richie, Donna Summer)