Saturday, September 11, 2010

70s Artist Watch: Johnny Mathis

To give you an idea about the quality of this man, he had a greatest hits album out in 1958 and spent 490 weeks in the charts, and he had an impact in the music of the 70s, especially in the US, where he was born in 1935, since then he has had worldwide sales of around 350 million records, and probably outside the US his work is not as well known.

He has had so many awards, and breaks so many records that we could talk about Johnny for pages and pages, so true to the nature of the site we will stick to his influence on the music of the 70s.

From 1970 onwards it seemed that every single Johnny released charted high in the US, again so many, so here are just a few titles that made it into the US top ten over the 70s.




1970
"Pieces of Dreams"
1973
"I'm Coming Home"
"Life Is A Song Worth Living"
1975
"Stardust"

He released over 200 singles and about half charted during his whole career, he released at least  seventeen albums in the 70s alone, and managed to do TV, live shows and the occasional film too. Is it any wonder that he was in 1973 inducted in the  Grammy Hall Of Fame, and performed at several Grammy Award ceremonies during the 1970s,and sometimes he even was known to sleep too.

Back in 1975 waqs his first big British Single hit with "Im Stone In Love With You" written by Thom Bell and Lynda Creed for The Stylistics, but here is Johnny top ten version.

Part of the Lyrics
If I could I'd like to be, 
A great big movie star. 
Overnight sensation, 
Drive a big expensive car. 
I would buy you everything, 
Your little heart desires. 
These things I'd do, 
‘Cause I'm stone in love with you. 
(You.) (Stone in love with you-oo.) 

If I were a business man, 
I'd sit behind a desk. 
I'd be so successful, 
I would scare Wall Street to death. 
I would hold a meeting for, 
The press to let them know, 
I did it all, 
‘Cause I'm stone in love with you. 
(You.) (Stone in love with you-oo.) 




A year later in 1976 he had a number one in the UK, that did not even chart in the US with "When A Child Is Born" from an Italian son by Ciro Dammicco, with English words added later.


Then for the British and European audiences his next big in 1978 was a big change of direction with a duet with Denice Willaims, this was Johnny's first number one for nearly two decades. Here is "Too Much Too Little Too Late" written by John Valins.



His last single hit in the 1970s was in the UK charts in 1979 with the disco  style hit "Gone,Gone,Gone", this was to show the other side of Johnny Mathis, and this would push people onto the dance floor.However, this new direction did not chart at all in the US.


Johnny had big hits through the 80s and beyond,  he dealt with being gay and death threats, and gives a huge amount of time and monies to charities. He is still touring, and details can be found at the Johnny Mathis official website. 

Just a point to remember his music also appeared in the film "Close Encounters of The Third Kind" in 1977 as the alien appeared, et you forgot that.


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