It was fifty years ago today- Monday October 7, 1968- the scene Tiger Stadium, Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers brilliant play by play man the legendary Ernie Harwell had arranged for singer Jose Feliciano to perform the Star Spangled Banner before Game 5 of the World Series. What happened would become a polarizing moment in America- in a wacked out and crazy year. Feliciano would sing a latin-jazz version of the song- which in is one of my favorite versions of the song [along with Marvin Gaye’s NBA All-Star National Anthem and Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.} It was highly controversial because up until this time everyone played it straight. NBC who was telecasting the series was flooded with phone calls and many at Tiger Stadium booed. Feliciano’s career would also suffer from this controversy. Today it’s hard to understand why anyone was upset. It was released as a single and made it to #50 on the charts.
below video of the performance and a story about it.