Saturday, July 21, 2007

Star Spangled Banner-Jose Feliciano (story and 1968 video)


Below is a part of my April 30 post, a few days after the Pacquiao bout. I found the Jose Feliciano on You tube interview and it's tragic that a talented guy's career floundered because of his soulfull rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner." Jose together with Carlos Santana paved the way for Latin artists in the pop world. So before Ricky Martin and his pompoms and JLO and her pampams, there was this small blind guy who can play the classical guitar like a bumblebee.

Geneva Cruz’s performance of the National Anthem created a lot of stir because of the way she sung it. The National Historical Institute blabbed about the law against the desecration of the National Anthem, and prescribed how the National Anthem should be sung complete with a CD playback how the National Anthem should be performed. Good! But why not prescribe a standard size for mangoes also? If the size of a particular mango does not meet the standard size promulgated by law, then the unlucky mango should be declared a non-national-mango and the planters and harvesters sued for desecration of the national fruit. Why not limit it to mango? Why not prescribe a standard weight for carabaos? See, if the National Historical Institute prescribed standard forms for our national symbols, the law of consistency dictates that we apply it all our national symbols. I was reminded of an article on Jose Feliciano (the blind Latino singer and guitarist famous for “Feliz Navidad” and “Once there was a love”…etc.) about the controversy he created when he sung “Star Spangled Banner” in his soulful vibrato de legato de nata de coco style. (The guy is cool. He is a flamenco guitarist and flamenco is all about speed, rhythm and lots of passion.)

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