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The hit PBS concert with never before seen bonus footage amp; interviews available for the first time on this superb DVD. On October 27, 2006, when Johnny Mathis decided to celebrate his 50th anniversary in the music business, he gathered 2,000 of his closest friends in the music business, at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City and regaled them with an amazing concert called Johnny Mathis: Wonderful! that was filmed for PBS. Here it is on this superb DVD, for all his fans to enjoy, exactly as it happened, replete with Mathis standards and unforgettable hits, and loaded with many extras, in a breathtaking presentation that will endure for years.
Back in the mid-'50s, Johnny Mathis had a choice: a star in track and field, he could try out for the U.S. Olympic teamÂ or else he could travel from his home in San Francisco to New York, where he'd been invited to record a few tunes for Columbia Records. Zillions (OK, hundreds of millions) of sales and half a century later, it's pretty obvious that Mathis, whose extraordinary career is celebrated on Johnny Mathis Live - Wonderful, Wonderful - A Gold 50th Anniversary Celebration, made the right move. The singer was 71 when he took the stage for this 2006 concert in Atlantic City; and while age has undoubtedly taken a toll (he looks a bit like the version of himself in the Las Vegas branch of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum--well-preserved, but kinda weird), his voice has lost little of its strength and almost none of its pure beauty. Backed by a large orchestra, Mathis moves easily through a set spanning his entire repertoire: Broadway and film numbers (a medley from "i"Kismet, some Henry Mancini movie tunes), Brazilian sounds (the medley of "Manha de Carnaval" and "Brazil," on which he's accompanied by an excellent nylon-stringed guitarist, is one of the show's best moments), more recent material (Barry Gibb's "In the Morning," Albert Hammond's "99 Miles from L.A."), and, of course, the romantic ballads that still make lovers swoon, including what Mathis calls "the Holy Trinity" of "It's Not for Me to Say," "Chances Are," and "Misty." Mathis makes music that soothes rather than challenges; it may be easy listening, but it's far too classy and professional to be written off as schlock. There's a reason this guy has been around for so long: he's good. The DVD includes interview segments with Mathis, clips from old TV appearances, and a substantial set of bonus performances from the same concert. --Sam Graham