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The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs -- #30

A countdown and history of the oldies era's greatest holiday tunes

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"Feliz Navidad," Jose Feliciano

source: ebay.com

30. "Feliz Navidad," Jose Feliciano

RCA 447 0936 b/w "The Little Drummer Boy"
Highest chart position: #70 (1998)
Recorded August 1970, Los Angeles

Decades before folks got upset at the idea of singing the US National Anthem in Spanish, Puerto Rican jazz-folk legend Jose Feliciano caused a major stir with his rendition at the '68 World Series in Detroit. Not because he performed it in Spanish -- he didn't. But his smooth, sexy style was alien enough. Nevertheless, he soon brought America around to that style, first with his bizarre rendition of the Doors' "Light My Fire" and then with this original bilingual wish for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. RCA shelved the album of Jose-filtered holiday favorites this was supposed to be the leadoff single for -- probably for fear of offending Middle America all over again -- but it's gotten so much airplay since then that when the CD was finally released in 1998, this song made the charts anyway.

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