(Part of a series on classic Xmas-pop songs) By Alan L. Chrisman
Feliz Navidad by Puerto Rican/American singer Jose Felicano has become one of the top 25 most played Christmas songs. Felicano wrote and recorded it in 1970 and it has become a multi-cultural holiday standard around the world. Originally based on a Latin greeting meaning, ”Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness”, Felicano added the English words, “I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.”
Despite being blind since birth, Jose Felicano is a virtuoso guitarist and has released many albums in English and Spanish. He’d had a big hit in 1968 with a cover of the Doors’ “Light My Fire”. And he continued on putting out albums where he re-worked covers of several pop songs, including some quite-good interpretations of Beatles’ songs with his soulful voice. He was also a session guitarist and has played on many artists’ albums, such as John Lennon’s Rock and Roll, Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark, etc. He also wrote and performed the theme song and appeared on the 70’s TV sit-com, Chico and the Man.
But it is his Latin/English Christmas song, “Feliz Navidad” that he is most known for around this time of year.
Jose Felicano doing his Xmas classic” Feliz Navidad”: