Album: I'm Coming Home (1973)


  • If being kind to people is wrong, then Johnny Mathis doesn't want to be right. In this song, written by Philadelphia soul songwriters Thom Bell and Linda Creed, the velvet-voiced singer knows people will take advantage of his gentle nature, but he'll never apologize for being kind. The sentiment echoes Mathis' real-life personality, according to Bell, who also produced the album. "John is just a natural, sensitive guy," he explained in a PopMatters interview. "That was something Creed drew from John."

    One line in particular, "I'll lend a hand to any man. And if that's wrong then you can call me foolish," was inspired by a real-life incident. Bell recalled: "We were walking down the street in San Francisco. Mathis would see a street person and dig in his pocket to give him some money but his manager didn't allow him. If he had $1,000 in his pocket, he'd give it all away. Tears would come in his eyes. He's that sensitive. You can hear it in his voice."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.