My disclaimer for Black Music Month was to highlight songs or artists that have an ‘R’ in it, but the word “Are” is close enough. This allows me to feature one of my favorite artists of all time: Mr. Johnny Mathis. I was a pre-teen when I recall hearing him for the first time and I fell in love instantly with his unique voice. I am a fan of artists who sound original and no one else has duplicated Johnny’s tone or style. I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times – the first time in 1986 when I was 16. I know my friends thought my affection for Johnny was bizarre, but they also knew I liked all genres of music so it shouldn’t have surprised them.
Almost 30 years before I saw him in concert his most endearing songs hit the airwaves: It’s Not For Me to Say, Misty, The Twelfth of Never, A Certain Smile, and of course Chances Are. Johnny turns 77 this year and he sounds exactly the same as he did in his original recordings from the 1950s. This video from a concert he did last summer proves just that. Simply amazing, and dare I say Wonderful! Wonderful!
*In 1979 President Jimmy Carter decreed that June would be Black Music Month. Three decades later in 2009 President Barack Obama revamped the title and declared June African-American Music Appreciation Month. Each day this month I am turning up the volume on an artist or song brought to you by the letter R. Enjoy!*