'Country' Johnny Mathis dies - WSMV Channel 4

'Country' Johnny Mathis dies

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

"Country" Johnny Mathis, who had songs recorded by nine hall of famers, passed away at his Cornersville, TN home on Tuesday, one day prior to his 81st birthday.

Mathis was known as both a singer and songwriter during his country music career.

He began his career as a recording artist on the StarTalent in 1949 and recorded on a number of different labels during the 50s, 60s and 70s. As part of the duet Jimmy and Johnny, he scored a Top 10 hit in 1953 with the song "If You Don't Somebody Else Will," released on Chess Records. His highest charting single as a solo artist was 'Please Talk to My Heart (Top 15), recorded for United Artists in 1963.

Mathis has appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, Big D Jamboree, The Grand Ole Opry, The Wilburn Brothers Show and TNN's Nashville Now. Mathis was a regular performer on the Louisiana Hayride for much of the 1950s.

As a songwriter, Mathis had songs recorded by George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Paycheck, Charley Pride, Johnny Horton, Jimmy Dean, George Hamilton IV, Freddy Fender, Webb Pierce, The Whites, Elvis Costello and many others. Seven Country Music Hall of Fame inductees and two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have recorded his music. Mathis has been credited with writing over 400 songs.

Mathis spent much of the 1970s, 80s and 90s writing and singing gospel music and spending time with his family. In 1999, Mathis suffered a massive stroke that left him incapacitated.

Visitation and funeral arrangements are being conducted by Lawrence Brothers Funeral Home in Chapel Hill, TN.

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