Johnny Mathis to Release Country Album
He's performed songs for stage and film and has been a staple on adult contemporary and jazz radio for five decades. Now Johnny Mathis, one of the most enduring traditional pop vocalists in music history, is going country! Music Row reports the 74-year-old singer is recording an album of country classics called 'Let It Be Me: Mathis in Nashville.'
Mathis handpicked every song himself for the September 21 release and recruited some famous friends to help him record. Paying tender reverence to original country arrangements of each country classic, tracks include, 'Let It Be Me' (with Alison Krauss), 'Lovin' Arms' (with Vince Gill), 'What a Wonderful World' (with Lane Brody), 'Make the World Go Away,' 'Crazy,' 'Southern Nights,' 'You Don't Know Me,' 'I Can't Stop Lovin' You,' 'Love Me Tender,' and 'Please Help Me I'm Falling.'
Signed to Columbia Records in the mid-1950s, Mathis is the longest-running artist on his label. He's sold 17 million albums and singles in the U.S. alone. His recordings of 'Chances Are,' 'It's Not For Me to Say' and 'Misty' were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. His 1958 'Johnny's Greatest Hits' -- the first of its kind -- spent an unprecedented 490 continuous weeks (almost ten years) on the Billboard Top Albums Chart, heralding in 'greatest hits' albums ever since, over the ensuing decades.
In 2003, Mathis was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.