Photo courtesy of the Tilles Center for Performing Arts
Johnny Mathis had us at hello. He owned the October 30th Friday night sold out audience of the Tilles Center of Performing Arts with his first song, "Life is a Song". As only a legendary singer with sixty years of live performing under his belt can he smoothly slipped into a medley of hits. Johnny's voice caressed the enamored crowd with songs , "When I Fall in Love, "It's Not for Me to Say", "Chances Are","Gina", "It's Not For Me to Say," "Chances Are," "A Certain Smile," "Wonderful, Wonderful," "Misty," and "You'll Never Know". Handsome in an elegant grey silk suit he effortlessly commanded the stage with his famous resonance holding his mic low to control his powerful high notes. Johnny was accompanied by his band regulars John Scott Lavender, Gil Reigers, Rick Shaw Joe Lizama and The Concert Pops of Long Island. Longtime Guitarist Gil serenaded Johnny's sentimental rendition of "Let It Be Me". Whether an anniversary, holiday, engagement or love affair the audience applauded in remembrance of a Johnny Mathis song favorite.
Johnny recorded his first album in 1956 with Columbia Records. He went on to record 80 albums including six Christmas albums. He has received five Grammy nominations and a 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. His signature songs that have been added to movie soundtracks on "The Family Man", "Silver Linings Playbook", "Donnie Brasco" and "Goodfellas". Columbia has released a 45 record set of his number ones in honor of this milestone "Johnny Mathis : The Singles".
He ended the show on the sexy bossa nova hit, "Brazil". Appreciative fans gave several standing ovations throughout the evening and rushed the stage to hand him bouquets of flowers and cards. Johnny continues his busy US performance tour with stops in Branson, Portland, Atlanta, Phoenix, West Palm Beach, Spokane and more until November 2016. Johnny Mathis who celebrated his 80th birthday in September looks forward, "I don't think about retiring. I think about how I can keep singing for the rest of my life. I just have to pace myself".