Mathis, (John Royce) Johnny(1935– ) popular singer; born in San Francisco, Calif. He sang in a college jazz band and later won a recording contract and engagements at prestigious New York clubs after an audition in San Francisco in 1955. His suave ballad singing helped him survive the dominance of rock in the popular music industry and he remained a successful nightclub performer in the United States and Britain. With Dionne Warwick he recorded a favorite hit, "Friends in Love" (1982).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.