I'll Buy You a Star

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I'll Buy You a Star
Studio album by Johnny Mathis
Released 1961
Recorded February 7–13, 1961
Genre Pop
Label Columbia
Producer Irving Townsend
Johnny Mathis chronology
Johnny's Mood
I'll Buy You a Star
Portrait of Johnny

I'll Buy You a Star (1961) is the 14th album released by Johnny Mathis. It is the 12th original studio album recorded by him (two hit singles compilations Johnny's Greatest Hits and More Johnny's Greatest Hits were among his album releases to this point).


I'll Buy You a Star is the first of two album collaborations with legendary arranger and conductor Nelson Riddle. The involvement of Riddle, who had previously worked with such musical heavyweights as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, and Peggy Lee, shows the stature of Mathis in the music world in 1961. As with his previous album, Johnny's Mood, Mathis chose to record a collection of songs ranging from standards and film songs through to less well known material. In a departure from the winning Mathis ballad album formula, this album includes both ballads and swinging uptempo material.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I'll Buy You a Star" - 3:20
  2. "Stairway to the Stars" - 4:51
  3. "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street" - 3:30
  4. "Magic Garden" - 3:58
  5. "Smile" - 3:15
  6. "Oh, How I Try" - 3:40
  7. "Ring the Bell" - 1:57
  8. "Love Look Away" - 3:28
  9. "Sudden Love" - 3:28
  10. "The Best Is Yet to Come" - 3:42
  11. "Warm and Willing" - 3:13
  12. "My Heart and I" - 3:29

Billboard Album Chart[edit]

This album was the 13th consecutive Johnny Mathis album to chart. Unlike his previous albums that had all peaked in the top 10, this set peaked at a respectable #38 on the Billboard album chart in its original release.[1]


The title song, from the 1951 Broadway musical A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, gets the album off to a solid swinging start. This is followed by a lush, romantic treatment of the standard "Stairway to the Stars" which finds Mathis recreating the high note re-entry following the orchestral bridge that had been such a feature of his classic version of "Misty". The song "Smile" has a melody by film great Charlie Chaplin while the rare verse is included on "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street". The less well known "Magic Garden" has lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman the lyric-writing husband-and-wife team whose work has often been recorded by Mathis, while "Love Look Away" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Flower Drum Song was a particular favourite with Mathis' British fans and is the second song from that show recorded by the singer. Finally, "The Best is Yet to Come" was one of the newer songs included on the album and was made popular by both Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.

Polly Bergen and her father, Bill Bergen, performed a duet of "I'll Buy You a Star" on her 1957-58 variety show, The Polly Bergen Show, which aired on NBC.[2]

When the album first appeared on CD in 1996,[3] it included four bonus tracks by Mathis and Riddle recorded during the album sessions but originally released as singles. Those four tracks would appear on later compilations of Mathis work. Both "Jenny" and "Should I Wait (Or Should I Run to Her)" appeared on Mathis' very next album Portrait of Johnny in 1961, while "Wasn't the Summer Short" was included on 1963's Johnny's Newest Hits and "Wherever You Are It's Spring" was part of the 1964 set I'll Search My Heart and Other Great Hits.


  1. ^ Billboard Album Chart Billboard Album Chart Position
  2. ^ "The Polly Bergen Show". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved January 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ All Music Details of CD version

External links[edit]