To promote his Dec 6th holiday show…

…at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort (MI), Johnny Mathis sat for a phone interview with Roger Bryant of the Midland Daily News.

Roger’s great piece — “Johnny Mathis:’I love to sing'” (here) — is a quick, concise read but he pulls several interesting tidbits out of JM … offering views into Johnny’s life choices, philosophy and career.

New to me was how much Nat King Cole influenced Johnny — helping JM reign in his amazing vocal range and refine his singing style and approach to recording…

 Johnny Mathis on Nat Cole… “I fell in love with the way he sang a song,” Mathis said. “He made it look so easy – like he was just talking.”

Mathis said that, with his big vocal range in his early years (his training had included opera), “I was all over the place” in some early recordings.

Listening to Cole helped him to “learn how to control vocally what I was doing.”

“I learned a great deal about how to make a record from Nat King Cole.”

Mathis got to meet Cole before the older singer’s untimely death in 1965.

“He was very kind to me,” he said.

Head over to Mr. Bryant’s column…

…and take in the rest of his interesting interview with JM. And if you’re a Michigander, plan to make your way to the middle of the state on the 6th and catch one of the best vocal talents of our time performing “Winter Wonderland” and the many other holiday numbers Johnny’s known for!

(…tickets available at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort box office.)

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”* is one of my favorite Mathis holiday numbers…

[* Please remember that all songs streamed here are for REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY and are NOT intended as a substitute for properly purchased original record company product. Give a listen and then please support the artists via iTunes, Amazon or your favorite music store. Artists/Record Labels — NO DOWNLOADS ARE SUPPORTED on this site; please contact me directly regarding the removal of any potentially infringing material.]