By Donna Westfall
80 year old singer, Johnny Mathis returned from performing in Cleveland to find his Hollywood Hills home of 56 years burned.
His $6 million home is uninhabitable, but he owns a place in Santa Inez where he plans on living until figuring out what to do.
Santa Inez is located in Santa Barbara County and has developed into a wine producing area. The Danish tourist town of Solvang lies in the Santa Inez valley.
Mathis, famous for his songs of the 50’s, could have tried out for the Olympics. A gifted athlete, Mathis set a high jump record while attending San Francisco State of 6 feet, 5½ inches, only two inches shy of the Olympic record at the time. While performing at a club called The Blackhawk, he caught the attention of Columbia Records producer George Avakian. Instead of going off to the Olympics, he signed a contract with Columbia Records. The rest is history.
His smooth, easy listening ballads captured the hearts of millions and six decades later, he’s still performing.