When you hear the name Johnny Mathis, the song “Chances Are” probably immediately pops into your head. But for me, it’s Christmas music, which is why I’m talking about him today. When I was younger, it was always Johnny Mathis playing in the house around Christmas time. (But I like “Chances Are” too.) Even now, it’s never 100% Christmas until I hear at least one Johnny Mathis song…hopefully, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or his version of “The Christmas Song.” My parents were big fans of his and we even saw him live at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia one year. I don’t remember very much of the show, but I remember enjoying it.
I wonder what it would have been like though if Mr. Mathis had gone with his original career choice…athletics. He received 4 athletic letters while he was in high school! Track and field, basketball, and was even asked to attend the 1956 Olympic team trials as a high jumper. Luckily for music fans, at the same time, he also had a meeting in NYC with a record label. He had a choice to make, and he chose music.
Since then, he’s sold over 350 million records worldwide, and received the Grammy Lifetime achievement award in 2003. He’s also kept ties to his athletic side by hosting several golf tournaments and has an annual track and field meet held at his alma mater, San Francisco State.
He’s also worked with charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the YMCA.
And he’s not showing any signs of stopping.
So what is your favorite Johnny Mathis song, if you have one?