There is currently some chatter on Facebook about overwrought renditions of the national anthem at sporting events thanks to a meme by George Takei that a lot of people are sharing. Jose Feliciano is generally credited/blamed with starting the trend of interpretations of the anthem rather than traditional renditions. My reaction upon hearing Feliciano’s controversial take? It sounded pretty traditional, and people weren’t booing him, from the sound of it. I blogged about this years ago and had a hard time finding the post – it turns out it was from way back in the old blogspot days. Here is the original post:
I have always read about Jose Feliciano’s “controversial” rendition of the national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. You can listen to it or download it for free on his website. (Click on “Download Jose’s Music Here” to save the MP3 file.) It is hard to see what the big deal was now after years of hearing personalized versions of the anthem, but this was one of the first reworkings. Unlike the self-indulgent long versions we often hear, Jose’s take on the anthem is quick, passionate, and folky.
I thought about this today after reading Scoop Jackson’s article about R. Kelly’s step-enhanced rendition last week.