Jose Feliciano’s Star-Spangled Controversy


Jose Feliciano

On October 7, 1968, twenty-three-year-old singer Jose Feliciano and his guide dog walked onto the field at Tiger Stadium and sang the national anthem before Game Five of the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals. Ninety-eight seconds later, he had unwittingly ignited a national controversy, derailed his career, and set in motion a series of events that would lead him to find the love of his life.

Jose had nothing but good intentions that day. He wanted to sing an anthem of gratitude to a country that had given him the opportunity to follow his dreams. Years later, here is Jose’s own account of what happened that day.

For good measure, here is an audio clip of legendary Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell’s behind-the-scenes recollection of that historic day from Ernie Harwell’s Audio Scrapbook, a four-CD treasure trove of Ernie’s highlights and interviews. Click on the audio player below to listen to this clip, which includes Jose’s entire performance of the national anthem at Tiger Stadium.

Jose Feliciano singing the national anthem before Game Five of the 1968 World Series

Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game

Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game

Ironically, Ernie Harwell had invited Motown star Marvin Gaye to sing the anthem before Game Four the day before. Nervous about Gaye’s soulful style, Harwell’s superiors had instructed him to ask Gaye to sing a straightforward rendition. Gaye readily complied. Fourteen years after Feliciano’s game-changing performance, Gaye also shocked the world with a soulful, electrifying rendition of the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game on February 13, 1983. Click here to watch it.

So how did Jose meet Susan, the love of his life? After hearing Jose’s performance of the national anthem, fourteen-year-old Susan became one of his most passionate fans. She enlisted Harwell’s help to contact Jose’s manager to ask if she could start a fan club. When Susan finally met Jose three years later, they fell in love and are married to this day. Here’s a three-part video interview with Jose and Susan about how they met and their life together today with their three children.

(PART 1 OF 3)

(PART 2 OF 3)

(PART 3 OF 3)

Click here to view all my baseball-related posts.

Click here to view all my posts featuring inspired performances of the Star-Spangled Banner.


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

To order your copy of Through God’s Eyes, go to OR order from Amazon at OR for an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click here for more information about Through God’s Eyes.
Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.

Want to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 40-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!


Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.

Order it at

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.

SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

Here is a three-minute video that introduces you to Phil and his book. Click here to order Sixty Seconds. Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 353 other followers

%d bloggers like this: