Johnny Mathis sings the Hits of Bacharach & Kaempfert 

A tribute to Burt and Bert that's inert as dirt

click to enlarge For years, Frank Sinatra called Johnny Mathis "the African Queen"
  • For years, Frank Sinatra called Johnny Mathis "the African Queen"

You can never get away with double-disc concepts like this anymore — two long players, each devoted to two different composers whose name is Burt. Or Bert, as Bert the K spells it. Maybe before the bottom fell out of the coke-sniffing record industry in the late '70s there was a Johnny Sings the Hits of Hamlisch and Gaye that got tabled because someone at Columbia emerged from a line on a mirror, saw his reflection and decided a two-Marvins tribute set was too stupid to live.

And now heeeere's Johnny! For years, Frank Sinatra called Mathis "the African Queen," but is that any defense for messing with the lyrics to "I Say A Little Prayer"? "The moment I wake up/ Before I shower and set up" — aarrggh! Could it have killed Johnny to find another rhyme? I mean, even in the movie My Best Friend's Wedding, Rupert Everett sang "before I put on my makeup" and he's not a ... oh, never mind. —Serene Dominic


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

February 24, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation