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Mathis sings Wednesday to aid Utah kids' charity

Johnny Mathis, a legend in American popular music, is coming to Abravanel Hall on Wednesday, June 9, at 8 p.m. He will be singing to accompaniment by members of the Utah Symphony to benefit Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah's Caring Program for Children.

Tickets start at $45, with $20 as a tax-writeoff for charitable contributions. VIP tickets (first 17 rows) are $125 and include a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., dinner and a live auction at 6 in the Salt Lake Marriott Hotel.In partnership with the YMCA, Regence BCBSU and the Caring Program will send low-income children to Camp Roger, the YMCA's signature summer camp in the Uinta Mountains. Thousands of Utah children have attended the camp in its 55-year history.

Mathis grew up in a basement apartment in the poor black section of San Francisco. He burst into national stardom in 1956 with his recording of "Wonderful, Wonderful!" which he followed with a series of hits through the late 1950s and early '60's, including several that became signature tunes, such as "Chances Are," "Misty" and "A Certain Smile."

At 64, Mathis maintains his youthful appearance and velvet voice in recordings and concerts. He has most often been characterized by critics for his unique ability to establish an emotional affinity with his audience. While he began as a teenage idol, his most prominent audience is now made up of adults, primarily women.