Johnny Mathis: I think the thing that stands out most in my mind — about how excited I was to have an opportunity to do something with my voice — is when I met Lennie Hayton, who was married to Lena Horne. Lena Horne used to come through San Francisco on a regular basis at this wonderful hotel — the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco — in the Venetian Room. My dad would take me to see her. It was something electric and magnificent about her. First of all she was gorgeous. She was a beautiful woman, and she had a history of learning her craft. She was a wonderful singer and dancer. As a youngster, I would go and listen to her and watch her, and she would mesmerize me. That was the thing that motivated me most, I think, to continue to perform, not just sing for recreational purposes. But I remember she was the shining light. And then of course I went and saw other people who became fabulous in my mind also, but she was the one that I remember was the motivator for me. I said, “I would love to be able to be that good, have something, a quality that good.” And all my life — I told her. I finally got a chance, after I met her, to tell her. But her husband was very kind to me — Lennie Hayton — because Lena was a little standoffish. Because she was a black woman in a white world, doing all of these incredible things, making roads for people like myself, so Lena was a little bit standoffish. But her husband Lennie Hayton, who was white, used to sneak me to her dressing room and I’d sit out in the foyer until she was all dolled up and made up — she wouldn’t see me without her makeup — and put her gown on, and that was the Lena Horne I always remember. I never saw her — I think maybe once I saw her offstage when she wasn’t all dolled up. But of course she was the person, I think, more so than Nat King Cole, who I almost emulated from the time I was a little kid, because he’s my favorite singer. But she was this incredible person that I thought was the epitome of what it would be like to be a singing star.