The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz Revealed How Johnny Mathis’ ‘Misty’ Changed His Life

During an interview, The Monkees‘ Micky Dolenz said he drew influence from Johnny Mathis’ “Misty.” He said the song changed his life and inspired his work. Listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom had similar reactions to “Misty.”

Johnny Mathis leaning against a wall
Johnny Mathis | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

How Johnny Mathis’ ‘Misty’ inspired The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz as a musican

During a 2010 interview with Goldmine, Dolenz said Mathis’ version of “Misty” influenced his singing. “If you listen to the new Carole King album, King For a Day, I’m sure you’ll hear a little bit of Johnny Mathis in there (with my style of singing),” he said. “Just as I was old enough to listen to Top 40 radio, I was really influenced by Johnny, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Fats Domino.” He recalled buying an album with “Misty” on it and listening to the song over and over.

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What The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz thought of Johnny Mathis’ voice

In a 2014 interview with Music Radar, Dolenz said “Misty” was one of the songs that changed his life alongside other classics such as Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and Don Cherry’s “Band of Gold.” “This is one of those songs that cast a spell on me,” he said. “I was a big Johnny Mathis fan — I’d bought albums of his, like so many people — but his version of ‘Misty’ simply resonated with me like nothing else.”

Dolenz said he became enamored with “Misty” during a formative period in his life. “This was probably around the time that I started to get serious about singing,” he said. “Hearing one of the greatest vocalists of our time doing what I would call his signature song really made an impression on me. I would imagine that anybody now could hear ‘Misty’ and appreciate its sentiment and be swept away by Mathis’ incredible vocalization.”

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The way the world reacted to ‘Misty’

Mathis’ “Misty” became one of his biggest hits. “Misty” reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 17 weeks. Mathis released “Misty” on his album Heavenly. Heavenly peaked at No. 76 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 32 weeks.

“Misty” became popular in the United Kingdom as well. According to The Official Charts Company, “Misty” reached No. 12 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 12 weeks. “Misty” appeared on the compilation album The Very Best of Johnny Mathis. The Very Best of Johnny Mathis reached No. 6 in the U.K. and remained on the chart for 12 weeks. A version of the song figured into the plot of Clint Eastwood‘s classic 1970s thriller Play Misty for Me. “Misty” became a huge hit and it had a major impact on Dolenz.

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