Johnny Mathis visits Contemporary Jewish Museum

February 3, 2011 10:00:39 PM PST
A music legend returned home to San Francisco on Thursday. Johnny Mathis was the high school singing star who went onto international stardom. Now, he came back for a museum exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

The exhibit is called "Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations." It's about how Jewish songwriters transformed black spirituals and blues into hit songs.

Mathis grew up in the Bay Area. He was a track star at Washington High School and San Francisco State, but he always wanted to sing. His success singing romantic ballads gave him clout to try something else - non-mainstream, religious songs.