Johnny Mathis to discuss his links to Jewish music (

February 3rd, 2011 | admin | No Comments | Categories: Blog, Press

  • Johnny Mathis was no stranger to Jewish music when he recorded “Kol Nidre,” the soul-stirring Aramaic prayer sung at the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Growing up in San Francisco, the silken-voice singer was captivated by the cantorial music he heard in the synagogues of his Jewish friends.

    “It was the extreme emotion the cantors sang with,” says Mathis, whose soaring version of “Kol Nidre” appeared on his 1958 album “Good Night, Dear Lord,” a religious-themed record that included Yiddish and Hebrew songs, African American spirituals and “Ave Maria.” The album was a major departure for Mathis, who’d shot to stardom with a string of hit romantic records like “Chances Are” and “It’s Not for Me to Say.”

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