“But I remember the first punishment. My daddy could handle a belt or switch, whatever he could get a hold of, about as good I guess as he could preach and he was one of the best. He pastored an old church in the Texarkana, TX. He had started and I must have been 6 or 7. And we had one of the big overseers there at the church. He was driving one of the big limousines of the day, and he took us home that Sunday. He had been holding a revival. I was sitting in the back seat and I discovered a little coin purse in the floor board. Well I politely took that coin purse and stuck it in my pocket and when I got a chance I spent the change in it. It didn’t take long for that to be discovered and it didn’t take long to discover who got it. Those were the days I was always puzzled how everybody seemed to know when you did something wrong. But I’m gonna tell you something, I got the licking of my life. I guess that was the first time that I remember that I got a whipping. But I guarantee it wasn’t the last one I could remember. And today I could truthfully say that I appreciate it. I’m glad for everyone that I got. I that helped to make me something that I might not have been otherwise.” – Country Johnny Mathis
Note about Johnny’s Memoirs: Prior to Johnny’s stroke in 1999, he had sat down at his typewriter and began to share stories about his life and music. We are sharing these excerpts in Johnny’s own words… just as he told them.