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Johnny Mathis Gold: A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration

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Album Review

Johnny Mathis' best Christmas recordings date from the late '50s, when he recorded Merry Christmas for Mitch Miller and Columbia, and from the mid-'60s, when he recorded The Sounds of Christmas for Mercury. Mathis was a wonderful holiday singer, easily able to summon the congenial warmth and energetic cheerfulness that made his version of "Sleigh Ride" a perennial hit. Gold: A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration compiles six songs from that pair of classic records, along with a handful from 1986 and four from the 2000s. Two rarities are also included: a version of "O Tannenbaum" that Mathis recorded with Mannheim Steamroller for their 2004 holiday album, Christmas Celebration, and a duet with Bette Midler ("Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!") that was previously unreleased. The cheer between Mathis and Midler is a little forced, and the disc has plenty of room for a half-dozen more songs from the '50s and '60s, but Gold: A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration is a solid collection.

Biography

Born: September 30, 1935 in Gilmer, TX

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the last and most popular in a long line of traditional male vocalists who emerged before the rock-dominated 1960s, Johnny Mathis concentrated on romantic readings of jazz and pop standards for the ever-shrinking adult contemporary audience of the '60s and '70s. Though he debuted with a flurry of singles chart activity, Mathis later made it big in the album market, where a dozen of his LPs hit gold or platinum and over 60 made the charts. While he originally concentrated on theme-oriented...
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Top Albums and Songs by Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis Gold: A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration, Johnny Mathis
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