Tony Mathews

Tony Mathews

November 1941 --

Anthony “Tony” Mathews, Oklahoma-born blues guitarist and vocalist, has recorded and toured with Ray Charles, Little Richard, Billy Preston, and many more.  Born in Checotah in November, 1941, Tony Mathews sang in church choirs and gospel quartets before taking up the guitar at age 15. He began playing in clubs in Wichita, Kansas at 16, then played in Muskogee with Willie Wright and the Aces and later recorded with Don & Bob on Chess Records.

Mathews moved to Los Angeles when he was 20 and toured nationally from there, playing with the Sims Twins on the Jackie Wilson Show and touring in 1962 with Little Johnnie Taylor and on the Moms Mabley Show.  He became a studio musician in Hollywood and toured with Ray Charles for the first time in 1966.  He toured with Little Richard in 1967, then rejoined Ray Charles for tours in 1973-75, 1980-82, and 1988.

Mathews went to Washington, D.C. where he performed in a play, “It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues.”  He has other acting and playing credits, on the Matlock television series, in play – “The Lost Highway,” a story of Hank Williams learning his trade from black musicians – and in the unreleased film Platinum Blues.

Mathews’ recordings include “Condition Blue” on Alligator Records and “Alien in my Own Home,” on the SDEG label.