Audiences Still Inspired by Johnny Mathis


Romantic crooner Johnny Mathis was born in Gilmer September 30, 1935. He became one of the most beloved pop singers in American music history. Gilmer pays tribute to this native son at the Historic Upshur Museum (

Mathis’ career has spanned 60 years, starting in the late 1950s -- and he continues performing today. He has recorded 74 albums and sold over 350 million records worldwide. Several of his albums have received gold or platinum status. True fans especially love his best-selling Christmas albums.

Mathis -- the fourth of seven children -- moved with his family to San Francisco, where he grew up. He wanted to become an English and physical education teacher, but someone heard the 19-year-old singing in a club one weekend and his career in music started. In time, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys) and three of his hits were also included in the Grammy Hall of Fame: “It’s Not for Me to Say” (1957), “Chances Are” (1957) and “Misty” (1959).

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