Once in a While (Johnny Mathis album)

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Once in a While (Johnny Mathis album)
Studio album by Johnny Mathis
Released 1988
Recorded 1987-1988 at
Conway Studios,
Hollywood, California,
The Five Spot,
Los Angeles, California,
Ignited Studios,
Los Angeles, California,
Kren Studios,
Los Angeles, California,
Lion Share Studios,
Los Angeles, California,
Ocean Way Studios,
Hollywood, California,
Studio Ultimo,
West Hollywood, California[1]
Genre Vocal[2]
Length 39:23
Label Columbia
Producer Peter Bunetta
Rick Chudacoff
Preston Glass
Robert Kraft[1]
Johnny Mathis chronology
The Hollywood Musicals
Once in a While
In the Still of the Night
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[2]

Once in a While is an album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released in June 1988 by Columbia Records.[3] Although the album did not make it onto Billboard magazine's Top Pop Albums chart, the song "I'm on the Outside Looking In" did reach number 27 during its 12 weeks on the magazine's list of the 40 Hot Adult Contemporary songs of the week in the US that began in the issue dated July 2 of that year.[4]


The album received a positive review from Allmusic, where Bil Carpenter praised the "outstanding street corner-style singing" on the title track and "I'm on the Outside Looking In" and also had kind words for "From a Whisper to a Scream" and "Two Strong Hearts".[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I'm on the Outside Looking In" (Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein) – 3:24
  2. "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" (Todd Rundgren) – 4:01
  3. "Two Strong Hearts" performed with Dionne Warwick (Andy Hill, Bruce Woolley) – 4:00
  4. "Once in a While" (Michael Edwards, Bud Green) – 3:28
  5. "Fallen" (Lauren Wood) – 3:33
  6. "Daydreamin'" (Noel Closson, Preston Glass, Larry Graham) – 4:30
  7. "From a Whisper to a Scream" (Steven Birch, Preston Glass) – 4:25
  8. "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)" (Dennis Lambert, Brian Potter) – 4:08
  9. "Just Like You" (Jeff Pescetto) – 3:50
  10. "Love Brought Us Here Tonight" (Stephen Geyer, Allan Rich, Smokey Robinson) – 4:04

Song information[edit]

Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra spent seven weeks at number one in Billboard magazine in 1937 with "Once in a While",[5] which is the oldest of the songs Mathis covers this time around. "I'm on the Outside Looking In" by Little Anthony and the Imperials reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100[6] and number eight on the magazine's Hot R&B singles chart in 1964.[7] And the recording of "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)" by The Four Tops earned Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America and peaked at number two R&B,[8] number four pop,[9] and number 14 on the magazine's list of the 40 most popular Easy Listening songs of the week in the US in 1973.[10]

Todd Rundgren's "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" first appeared on his 1972 album Something/Anything?,[11] and "Just Like You" was recorded by Dennis Edwards for his 1984 LP Don't Look Any Further.[12] Smokey Robinson included "Love Brought Us Here Tonight" on his 1987 album One Heartbeat,[13] and Lauren Wood's original recording of "Fallen" appeared on her 1981 release Cat Trick[14] but received its widest exposure as one of the songs heard in the 1990 film Pretty Woman[15] and on its soundtrack album,[16] which was released two years after this album and sold 3 million copies.[17] The duet on this album, "Two Strong Hearts", was also released as a solo outing in 1988 by John Farnham on his Age of Reason album;[18] his version got as high as number 38 on Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary chart[19] and number five in Australia.[20]


  • Johnny Mathis – vocals
  • Jay Landers – executive producer
  • Bobby Yosten, Toluca Lake – wardrobe
  • Lore Patterson – styling
  • Nancy Donald – design
  • Tony Lane – design
  • David Vance – photographer

Tracks 1-5[edit]

  • Peter Bunetta – producer; drums
  • Rick Chudacoff – producer; bass
  • Bill Elliott – keyboards
  • Paulinho da Costa – percussion
  • Dann Huff – guitar (except "Once in a While")
  • Leslie Smith – background vocals
  • David Woodford – soprano sax ("Fallen")
  • Michael Thompson – guitar ("It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference", "Once in a While")
  • Fred Tackett – acoustic guitar ("It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference", "Once in a While")
  • Melvin Franklin – background vocals ("Once in a While")
  • Kipper Jones – background vocals ("Once in a While")
  • Roderick White – background vocals ("Once in a While")
  • Fred White – background vocals ("Once in a While")
  • Ricky Nelson – background vocals ("Once in a While")
  • Lynne Fiddmont – background vocals ("Two Strong Hearts")
  • Syreeta – background vocals ("Two Strong Hearts")
  • Recorded and mixed at Conway Studios, Hollywood, California
  • Daren Klein – recording engineer
  • Additional recording at Lion Share Studios, Los Angeles, California
  • Frank Wolf – additional recording engineer
  • Gary Wagner – additional recording engineer
  • Tom Vicari – additional recording engineer
  • Mick Guzauski – mixing engineer
  • Marnie Riley – assistant engineer
  • Bryant Arnett – assistant engineer
  • Karen Siegel – assistant engineer
  • Ray Pyle – assistant engineer

Tracks 6-8[edit]

  • Preston Glass – producer; arranger; keyboards; drum and percussion programming
  • Frankie Blue – background vocals
  • Joe Ericksen – background vocals
  • DeVere Duckett – background vocals
  • Craig Thomas – sax solo ("Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)"); background vocals
  • Jorge Bermudez – live percussion, Bermudez Triangle ("From a Whisper to a Scream")
  • Jim Studer – acoustic piano solo ("Daydreamin'")
  • Recorded at Studio Ultimo, West Hollywood, California
  • Mixed at One on One Studios, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
  • Maureen Droney – recording engineer, mixing engineer
  • Mitch Zelezny – assistant engineer
  • Bernard Frings – assistant engineer

Tracks 9-10[edit]

  • Robert Kraft – producer; piano; synthesizers; additional percussion ("Love Brought Us Here Tonight")
  • Tom Walsh – drums
  • Neil Stubenhaus – bass
  • Nick Brown – guitar
  • Jorge Bermudez – percussion
  • Michael Paulo – saxophone
  • Darryl Phinnessee – background vocals
  • Dorian Holley – background vocals
  • Sheryl Crow – background vocals
  • Lynn David – background vocals
  • Greg Bartheld – additional synth programming
  • David Benson – project coordination/technical director
  • Recorded in Los Angeles at Ocean Way Studios, The Five Spot, Ignited Studios, Kren Studios
  • Ed Thacker – engineer; mixing engineer ("Just Like You")
  • "Just Like You" mixed at The Grey Room, Hollywood, California
  • Daren Klein – mixing engineer ("Love Brought Us Here Tonight")
  • "Love Brought Us Here Tonight" mixed at Ocean Way Studios, Hollywood, California


  1. ^ a b c (1988) Once in a While by Johnny Mathis [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records OC 44156.
  2. ^ a b c "Once in a While - Johnny Mathis". allmusic.com. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  3. ^ (1993) The Music of Johnny Mathis: A Personal Collection by Johnny Mathis [CD booklet]. New York: Columbia Records C4K-48932.
  4. ^ Whitburn 2007, p. 179.
  5. ^ Whitburn 1986, p. 135.
  6. ^ Whitburn 2009, p. 580.
  7. ^ Whitburn 2004, p. 354.
  8. ^ Whitburn 2004, p. 212.
  9. ^ Whitburn 2009, p. 366.
  10. ^ Whitburn 2007, p. 101.
  11. ^ (1972) Something/Anything? by Todd Rundgren [album jacket]. Burbank: Warner Bros. Records 2BX 2066.
  12. ^ (1984) Don't Look Any Further by Dennis Edwards [album jacket]. Detroit: Motown Records 6057 GL.
  13. ^ (1987) One Heartbeat by Smokey Robinson [album jacket]. Detroit: Motown Records 6226 ML.
  14. ^ (1981) Cat Trick by Lauren Wood [album jacket]. Burbank: Warner Bros. Records BSK 3517
  15. ^ "Pretty Woman (1990) - Soundtracks". imdb.com. Amazon.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  16. ^ (1990) Pretty Woman – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by various artists [CD booklet]. Hollywood: Capitol Records CDP-7-93492-2.
  17. ^ Whitburn 2010, p. 902.
  18. ^ (1988) Age of Reason by John Farnham [album jacket]. New York: RCA Records 9687-1-R.
  19. ^ Whitburn 2007, p. 93.
  20. ^ Kent 1993, p. 189.