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Three Chords and the Truth

Johnny Mathis goes country with Let It Be Me.

Q: It's easy to see why country music would appeal to you. You sound as sincere in conversation as you do on record.

A: I don't have a drop of sarcasm in me. But when you put your music out in the world, you never really know who listens to it, or why. I'm always flattered when somebody I really like listens to me. Once I saw George Halas, the late former head coach of the Chicago Bears, on TV. He was an older man at the time, in his 80s, and he had my music playing in the background during his daily workout by his swimming pool. And when someone like John Waters writes about you in a book, you think, "I guess I dodged a bullet."

Q: Have you read any other good books lately?

A: A musician friend gave me Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. I heard the Carpenters' audition tape before they signed to A&M and kept my ears open for them along the way. I loved their music. She was such a brilliant singer, and her brother did all the right things for her. But the book is very sad. It made me aware of how fortunate I've been in my career to always have good, upstanding people looking out for my best interests.

 

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