Not to be confused with the pop singer of the same name, Johnny "Country" Mathis was born on September 28, 1933, in Maud, TX. He became a long time member of the Louisiana Hayride from 1951 thru 1960. Johnny "Country" Mathis started out as part of the duo Jimmy & Johnny, with Jimmy Lee Fautheree. While they only released a handful of records, the duo hit the country & western Top Ten in 1954 with "If You Don't Somebody Else Will." It was recorded for the Chicago blues label Chess; it was one of the only country songs the label ever released. By the mid-'50s, Mathis went solo, recording a string of records for Dallas' renowned D Records, (including a rockabilly single, "Bee-Boppin' Daddy," under the name Les Cole & the Echoes), Decca, United Artists, and Little Darlin. His last chart entry was in 1963 "Please Talk to My Heart" on UA. A fairly prolific songwriter, his work was recorded by Johnny Paycheck, George Jones, and Webb Pierce. In February of 1999, Mathis suffered a massive stroke that left him unable to perform or record any longer.
Share this page