He was talent-spotted by club owner Helen Noga and upon his introduction to jazz producer George Avakian was subsequently signed by Columbia Records.His most difficult decision was deciding whether to go to the Olympic tryouts, to which he had been invited, or to keep an appointment to make his first recordings which were released in 1956.
How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?
While Mathis opted for a recording career, he has never completely abandoned his enthusiasm for sports.
An avid golfer who has completed a minimum of five holes-in-one, and has hosted several tournaments in his name in the USA and the United Kingdom.
They had been due to record together again but Karn was diagnosed with cancer last summer.
The musician, who also played saxophone, was born Andonis Michaelides and moved with his family from Cyprus to south-east London when he was three.