Hello all, we are now in March, 2012... 'RizMum' blog sure is getting slower now, but as promised I will try my best to keep on going... and its been awhile now since my last post (T_T) and to update this took me almost a year, anyhow, this will be my final year so you guys know how it is when the big "E" comes. So guys, see you in my next post and keep on SHREDDING!!!! And as always please feel free to drop a suggestion/ideas via e-mail, Thanks

Thursday, 5 August 2010

José Feliciano

Name: José Montserrate Feliciano García
Born: 10th September, 1945 (Lares, Puerto Rico)

Profile: He is a blind Puerto Rican singer, virtuoso guitarist and composer, known for many international hits including the 1970 holiday single "Feliz Navidad".

History: Feliciano was born blind because of congenital glaucoma. He was first exposed to music at age 3. When he was 9, he played on the Teatro Puerto Rico. He started his musical life playing accordion until his grandfather gave him a guitar. He reportedly sat by himself in his room for up to 14 hours a day to listen to 50's rock albums, classical guitarists such as Andrés Segovia, and jazz players such as Wes Montgomery. He later had classical lessons with Harold Morris who earlier had been a student with Segovia.

At 17, he quit school to play in clubs, having his first professional, contracted performance in Detroit. In 1963, after some live performances in pubs and clubs around the USA, where he played at the same time as Bob Dylan, he was signed at RCA Victor.

In 1964, he released his first single 'Everybody Do the Click'. Later, in 1965 and 1966, he also released his first albums 'The Voice and Guitar of Jose Feliciano' and 'A Bag Full of Soul', two folk-pop-soul albums that showcased his talent on radio across the USA, where he was described as a '10 finger wizard'. He also was invited to the Newport Jazz festival in 1964.

After two more successful albums, Feliciano, now a household name all over Latin America, moved to LA. He got together with Rick Jarrard and they recorded "The Doors" song 'Light My Fire' in a Latin style and when released as a single, it reached #3 on the US pop charts in 1968. It sold over a million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. He immediately became a sensation all across North America, selling millions of albums and followed up his success with another top 20 hit in the US with his version of 'Hi-Heel Sneakers', again recorded with a Latin feel. On the strength of this success he won 2 Grammy Awards for Best New Artist Of The Year and for Best Pop Song Of The Year in 1969.

In 1970, he wrote and released an album of Christmas music, 'Felíz Navidad', which may be deemed to be his most famous recording. The title song has been covered by many artists and is now a traditional part of the musical landscape in the US, Canada and Latin America around Christmas time. Each year during the Christmas season, 'Feliz Navidad' returns to US airwaves, one of the most-played and most-downloaded radio songs and downloaded songs of the season. 'Feliz Navidad' is also recognized by ASCAP as one of the 25 all-time most-played Christmas songs in the world.

Feliciano holds the distinction of being one of the few singers to have enjoyed success both in Spanish language music and in English language rock & roll. He won 5 consecutive awards for best pop guitarist from Guitar Player magazine and was voted in jazz, classic and rock fields. He received a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987, and continued as a very popular singer during the 80's. He also has a star in the Walk of Fame of his native Puerto Rico.

In 1987, he also had a great hit in Austria with the song 'The Sound of Vienna', at #1 for four weeks and recorded with the famous Vienna Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra also performed with him live on national television at Danube Park in Vienna before more than 60,000 people. During the 80's, record companies gave him space made only for the Latin market, and he recorded an impressive number of albums for that market, including the Motown albums 'Escenas de Amor' and 'Me Enamoré', as well as others from RCA, EMI, and Capitol which added four more Grammys for best Latin performer.

In 2006, Feliciano's new Spanish album, 'José Feliciano y amigos' was released by Universal Records, featuring Feliciano joined in duets with many other Latin American stars including Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan, to name a few. In 2007, Feliciano released an album called 'Soundtrack of My Life', the first English-language album composed and written by him.

In 2010, Feliciano performed his rendition of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' again at Comerica Park in Detroit. This was part of the remembrance of Detroit Tigers radio announcer the late Ernie Harwell. He played it similarly to how he did back in 1968; with his acoustic guitar and in his slow tempo-ed, latin jazz style.

Influences: Andrés Segovia and Wes Montgomery

Axology: Unknown

Signature song(s): Feliz Navidad - José Feliciano (1970)

Link(s): (Official website)

No comments: