I was always a little bit afraid because I found out at a very early age that once you make a record, all the mistakes and all the good things are there for eternity.

When you do interviews, you have to talk about yourself - and I like to find out about other people. I am so familiar with everything that I do. I've said it over and over again. I think it is boring.

I really, really enjoy music and that's why I do what I do.

When I do an album I try to find a producer that's excited about something that they want me to sing, and I check with the record company to find out what they think they can sell - which is their No. 1 priority.

My mom and dad always tried to make Christmas special for us. We were poor, but it's funny because we had no idea.

I believe it was Nat King Cole that my dad took me to see, and we were sitting in the dressing room, and I blurted out to him, 'Why didn't you sing this?' Referring to whatever song I had wanted to hear, and he told me he was tired of singing it.

Sure, I've thought about retiring, but in my mind, if you can't sing the song anymore, change the song and sing a different one!

I was really active athletically, definitely. I was a hurdler, a sprinter. I played basketball for years. I was a serious athlete.

I have one room off my kitchen filled with nothing but cookbooks and recipes that are sent to me from around the world. Every two years, I have to go through them and pick out ones to send to the local schools. There's a need for books, especially cookbooks.

It's a joy to listen to someone at the top of their craft.

When I was 13, I used to go to a jazz club. The owner of the club became my first business manager. She was very gutsy and had a lot of friends, one of whom happened to be the head of jazz at Columbia at the time. That's how it all began.

I thought I sounded a little like Eartha Kitt for a long time, and I didn't like it.

I think it's important to cultivate as many people as you can to see which ones you jive with. And it makes you happy. If one dies, you have another one. So living is a process that you have to do by yourself, and if you can learn a few little goodies along the way that might make it easier for you, so much the better.

The thing that means most to me is the joy that my mom and my dad got because of my career... They raised seven children on domestic wages, in a city like San Francisco, and did nothing but work, work, work.

I love the whole aspect of music, especially the singing; I never get tired of finding new songs to sing and sing them in a way that's interesting for the public.

I got an invitation to go to the Olympic trials. And in the same week, I got a telegram from a... big executive at Columbia Records.

Every performer has a little gem, a little pearl they have done that nobody pays much attention to. And then one day, somebody does recognize it, which is so gratifying.

It's very much like opera singers. They do the same thing. The first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, the thing they think about is their voice and how to take care of it.

I've found that if I limit my talking, just everyday talking, a couple of days before I have to sing, my voice is stronger. That really is about the only precaution that I take: I try to rest it as much as possible and keep the nutritional value of my food up.

When I go out shopping and pass a bookstore, I always grab a couple of cookbooks, so I have a library of them. I end up keeping many that I got years and years ago because they work so well.

My parents were over the moon when I had some success with Christmas songs because that was the time of the year that meant so much to them. They were able to see their loved ones, and it was great to hear their son's voice on the radio while they visited.

My favorite singer to this day is Nat King Cole. I've tried to emulate his phrasing. It is so absolutely beautiful to listen to his lovely voice.

I love Puccini and that oriental influence in his music.

Mancini was a big part of my life. I sang a lot of his music, and he became a good buddy.

I'm still going strong. I have been very blessed and still am. I love singing. Obviously, at my age, I don't tour with as many dates throughout the year as I did in the past. But I do this to honor my father who was also a singer. I still miss him and his encouragement.

I've had several unavoidable problems because of my athletic career.

When I was 12 and started to take singing lessons from a woman, she told me that I would probably spend the rest of my life taking care of my voice.

I was very fortunate to have a wonderful woman as my voice coach when I started singing professionally. I was only 19, so now it's been 60 years!

I met a guy on the golf course who was a kinesiologist - after I looked up the word, I found out it meant exercise. I started working with him, and that was many years ago.

Mitch Miller knew exactly what he wanted me to sing. He didn't want me to improvise at all.

Christmas is never going to go away, and it's always going to be there. And there's always room for one more Christmas song, I think.

I always have homemade chicken stock in the refrigerator. I'll reduce it, maybe add a little cream and a few shallots. Before you know it, eureka! It's the best.

Sometimes being famous gets in the way of doing what you want to do.

But I am very grateful for my success, and with success, of course, comes a whole lot of celebrity.

When I was a kid, I had to try a lot of pyrotechnics just so people would know who I was.

I go to the gym rather early with a workout pal. I get there at 7, or a little before, and do weights and a little cardio for an hour, five days a week.

When I got a chance, I went back and shared those experiences that were important to me. George Washington High, the campus at San Francisco State, and even back to Emerson Elementary school and Roosevelt Junior High. I was happy to do it, to go back and see if all the same teachers were there.

My aspirations were never anything other than I really, really admired certain singers over the years, and I just wanted to do the best I could. And that has been kind of like the way I've been fortunate enough to be able to have a career, have some success, and yet continue to learn my craft.

It doesn't mean a thing when others tell you you're good. You have to feel it yourself.

It's just that some people are lucky and people still seem to enjoy the music.

When I was very young, it was all, 'Here's little Johnny,' and I got stuck with it, but I prefer John. There comes a time in a man's life when he shouldn't have a name ending in 'y'.

I have no way of knowing why my career has lasted so long other than the fact that people like the sound of my voice. Fortunately, I've been able to maintain it.

Every time I try to tell people things about my career, I wonder if that's the truth or something I'm fantasizing about.

My music has always been enough.

I don't think about the future. It sort of will take care of itself; there's not really much that I can do other than fundamental things like taking care of my voice, keeping to my exercise routine, and getting some rest.

Homosexuality is a way of life that I've grown accustomed to.

I've recorded in Portuguese, too. I didn't set out to just sing ballads or romantic songs.

Dad would come home from doing odd jobs, and sometimes he'd come home late at night with lumber, and he'd rumble around with all this wood in our small place. We'd finish putting it away, and then we'd play that piano. I'll be eternally grateful to him.

As a child, all I knew was that people kept asking me to sing, and because I liked to please, I would sing. It wasn't until my dad told me that my singing made him happy that I began to think my voice might be good.