1957 was a stellar year for Johnny Mathis with no less than six major hit recordings, three of them reaching the Top 10, and the immortal classic “Chances Are” peaking at #1 on Cash Box on October 12, 1957 for two weeks while reaching #4 on Billboard. It is the song he is best remembered for.
Mathis was a giant in the pop music genre. Pop music, later to be classified as “easy listening” or “adult contemporary,” was as much a major force in music as rock n’ roll, R&B, country, folk, jazz, or any other form. If a song was good, it was a hit and went to the Top 40, as simple as that. No discrimination over what kind of song it was. That was the musical land scape over which artists like Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Connie Francis, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Vinton, and others loomed as large as Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Ben E. King, The Shirelles, The Beatles, or Lesley Gore.
All of the footage in this video was shot in 1959 by Centron Productions … from a rare COLOR film short entitled “Innocent Party.” It was directed and produced by none other than Herk Harvey, who you may remember as being the director of the immortal 1962 classic, Carnival Of Souls. He also starred as lead ghoul in the film. However, before and after that movie, Harvey produced and directed a number of dramatic educational shorts for high school teens and young adults dealing in a wide range of topics, mostly shot in his adopted home town of Lawrence, Kansas.