Saturday, December 27, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jose Feliciano

Artist:Jose Feliciano
Song:Light My Fire
Album:The Definite Best...

Jose Feliciano's cover of Light My Fire was one of the more unlikely hits of the late 60s. But it made Feliciano a global star in English and Spanish and he's still going strong today. He was born Sept. 10, 1945 in Lares, Puerto Rico blind at birth due to congenital glaucoma. His family soon moved to Spanish Harlem in New York City. Feliciano learned to play the accordion and then his father gave him a guitar. Feliciano says his favourite guitarists were Andres Segovia and Wes Montgomery and his favourite singer was Ray Charles. He became a fixture in Greenwich Village folk music clubs until he signed with RCA Records producer Jack Somer in 1964. Somer produced flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya and easy listening acts like Peter Nero. So he was not a contemporary pop music producer. At first, Feliciano's Spanish albums were very successful in Latin America. But his English albums went nowhere. So he moved to Los Angeles to work with RCA house producer Rick Jarrard who had produced Jefferson Airplane and Nilsson thinking he would give Feliciano a more contemporary sound. The 1968 album Feliciano! was a big success when the single Light My Fire reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Music fans loved Feliciano's guitar virtuosity and his passionate vocals. And of course they already knew Light My Fire by The Doors. The arrangements on Feliciano! were by Perry Botkin Jr. and Nilsson's arranger George Tipton. The musicians on the album were jazz guys; Jim Horn on flute, Ray Brown on bass and Milt Holland on percussion. Though Feliciano never had another hit as big as Light My Fire, he didn't need it as he is still recording and touring today. Feliciano's other top ten hit was Feliz Navidad in 1970 and that song continues to chart every year during Christmas season. And Feliciano wrote Feliz Navidad so it generates a lot of revenue. It's a Christmas perennial. This budget comp has Light My Fire and Feliz Navidad. Beware of off label CDs that don't have original recordings. Jose Feliciano just ended a world tour and he released the Spanish language CD Duets. His most recent English language CD was the Elvis Presley tribute The King in 2012. Here's Jose Feliciano performing Light My Fire 1968.

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