Johnny Mathis was born on September 30, 1935 in Gilmer, Texas, and raised in San Francisco. He was discovered by George Avakian of Columbia Records. He initially recorded as a jazz-styled singer. Columbia A&R executive Mitch Miller switched him to singing pop ballads, and the rest is history. He has 53 charted singles on Billboard Hot 100. But more amazingly, he has 76 charted albums on Billboard 200. His charting career is mainly on Columbia Record label, from 1957 to 2006. He was briefly with Mercury Records label from 1964 to 1967.
Johnny Mathis has an outstanding 4 CD box set called A Personal Collection, released on Columbia Records in 1993. Collectors’ Choice has released quite a few 2 LPs on 2CDs, but for some unknown reason, this series was stopped. Fortunately, Real Gone Music, an excellent reissue label from UK, now has undertaken to release more of Johnny’s albums, concentrating now on his Mercury releases. So far, 4 sets of 8 albums on 8 CDs have just been released.
This 2 CD set contains two albums on 2 CDs: Tender Is The Night and The Wonderful World Of Make Believe.
The song listing (with chart position and year) is as follows:
TENDER IS THE NIGHT (13/1964) Mercury 60890:
01 Tender Is The Night
03 No Strings
04 I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby
05 April Love
06 Call Me Irresponsible
07 A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes
08 A Ship Without A Sail
09 Forget Me Not
10 Where Is Love?
12 Tomorrow Song
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MAKE BELIEVE (75/1964) Mercury 60913:
02 I’m Always Chasing Rainbows
03 House Of Flowers
04 Beyond The Ser
05 Sky Full Of Rainbows
06 Sands Of Time
08 Alice In Wonderland
09 Dream, Dream, Dream
10 The Wonderful World Of Make Believe
11 When You Wish Upon A Star
12 Beyond The Blue Horizon
As Johnny would say, the sound is “Wonderful, Wonderful” and very well remastered. The set also comes with an equally wonderful 16-page booklet. The original front and back covers of both albums were displayed, each covering the entire page. For collectors like myself, this is greatly appreciated. The liner notes were full of interesting facts, plus personal input from Johnny Mathis himself. Great job! I also appreciate Real Gone Music putting each album in its separate CD, instead of cramping two albums onto 1 CD.
REAL GONE MUSIC:
Besides the 4 sets of Johnny Mathis albums (8 albums), Real Gone Music, an excellent reissue label from UK, has many other exceptional releases so far, including Complete Singles Collection of artists like B.J. Thomas, Dion, Timi Yuro, Connie Stevens, Joanie Sommers, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Mark Lindsay, Electric Prunes, Rick Nelson, etc. This label produces excellent compilations, containing both a- and b-sides, plus excellent booklets. If you are interested in those artists I just mentioned, please see all my reviews for the above-mentioned elsewhere.
I am a big fan of Johnny Mathis. So far, I managed to acquire 45 CDs and 51 vinyl albums. I am slowly getting there, but my collection is far from complete. Such great album releases by Real Gone Music are great welcome to my library. I am excited by their many great releases so far. This new-found excitement reminds me of the days in 1990, when Rhino Records released a series called Have A Nice Day. Anyway, all the songs in this set are old standards done in Johnny’s style, and are totally enjoyable. This set is highly recommended.