Some people dread the thought of another birthday. Others seriously downplay the occasion or avoid the subject altogether. Jose, on the other hand, has always loved the opportunity to get together with his friends and family to celebrate life—in every imaginable way –especially on the occasion of his birth. But even that event, we find, has unique significance when he recounts his Mother’s story regarding the date of his arrival on the scene in a mountain village in Puerto Rico, now some 66 years ago:
“Because we lived in the countryside, with no modern conveniences, roads, or methods of communication, it took a couple of days for my Father to register me and so my birth certificate reflects a date two days after my actual birth. The funny thing is that my Mom only told us about this when I was already in my thirties. That’s why some people want to celebrate my birthday on the actual day, September 8th, while others only know it to be on the 10th, the official date on my birth certificate, passport, and unfortunately, my AARP card!
“I will say that getting older has given me a better perspective in life and so I don’t think I’d ever want to trade my youth for all of the experiences I’ve lived through and hopefully, the wisdom, that may had come from them.”
But getting back to the ‘two birthdays’ thing, it gave all of us here at home an opportunity to take pleasure in making merry and bringing in his personal New Year in style.
For his actual birthday, our long-time friend, Helmuth Schaerf from Vienna (an accomplished chef among about a thousand other things), flew to New York City with the express purpose of preparing a formal Austrian meal for Jose on his birthday. Then on the 10th, it was an intimate champagne and hors d’oeuvres gathering in the old Banks Tavern, the Feliciano residence in Weston, Connecticut. After a week of post Hurricane Irene conditions of no power with a major cleanup ensuing, it was really nice to kick back and celebrate a life well-lived with some close friends and family.
Jose’s circle of well-wishers from around the world didn’t hesitate to use any method available to them to reach out and wish Jose another year of good health, happiness and prosperity. Cards, phone calls, emails and Face Book messages were received, brining a special sense of joy to Jose as he reflected on his many blessings. As we so often like to do, we share a sampling of them here:
Jose- All the best on your birthday. We are 62 on September 13. From two Virgos to another.
David and Sandy Brokaw
JOSÃ FELICIANO: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DESDE BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA,CON MUCHO CARIÃ O, MUCHAS FELICIDADES!!!!!
Happy Birthday Mr. Feliciano,
I hope the family is doing well and I always remember your birthday as my youngest daughter was born on the same day. I wonder if you remember Charlie the Hungarian Norwegian that worked at the Westport Getty and retired to follow his passion in music. I often think of those days and Henry in particular. I hope the children are following their musical heritage.
From Roumania,con amor…Happy birthday!!!
Just wanting to wish you a happy birthday for yesterday. Hope you had a great day!
Happy Birthday to Jose!
We wish you a happy (official) birthday from Belgium or as we say in Flemish: gelukkige verjaardag! Also a good health for you, your family and friends and many, many thanks for your great music. I hope you keep on inspiring us with it for a long, long time to come!
Jan & Ilse
Dear Mr. José Feliciano,
First of all, on behalf of Samara Society for Cultural Studies, in Mid-Volga River region of Russia I would like to congratulate you on occasion of your birthday. I wish you good health, joy, creative energy and well-being. We have been seeking for an opportunity to get in touch with you and to express a great gratitude for your delightful creativity, which we much appreciate and love in Russia too.
“Happy Birthday, Jose and see you soon in Germany!”
hi susan just wanted to say hi haven’t emailed you in a while. Also wanted to wish jose a happy birthday. Hope you jose + the kids are ok + hope to see you in ny soon …again wish jose a happy birthday for me. love you all.
More good wishes to come Saturday. So, you’ve had two birthdays a year, you are one ancient guy right now ;)
Happy Birthday again.
I met you on your birthday in 1974. OMG what a long time ago that was. Have a happy birthday!!!!!!
Happy Birthday on both days :)
First of all I wish you a happy birthday. I hope you’ll be able to spend this day with your family.
I’m happy to be a member of the big family of your fans. I had the opportunity to attend a concert of yours for the fourth time. I was one of the 30000 people on the grasslands of Rimpelrock on the 14th of August, the same place where a week later the disaster, you mentioned on your website, took place. Your performance was great, as allways. And every time I come to see and hear you, time passes too quickly.
What a tremendous voice you have, what an incredible guitar player, unparalleled!
I play your music almost every day, your music as a part of my life.
I’ll try to be there in Vienna, when you come back to Europe in November !
One of your greatest Belgian fans.
Happy birthday to Jose!!! Feliz something, right?
Valerie Georgephy Trowbridge
Happy Birthday Jose! You’ve been an incredible influence and inspiration in my life! Enjoy your special day with your family and friends!
And a HUGE Happy Birthday to José from all his fans and friends in New Zealand, currently the party capital of the world with the Rugby World Cup starting tomorrow.
Cumpleaños José - hopefully I’ve got that right!! Hey, I read that your real birthday is the 8th, but the Puerto Rico authorities have you registered as the 10th…so do you get two lots of presents?? lol My birthday on the 11th…an infamous day in history for the past decade…so we’re both Virgos…oh dear, bad luck Susan and Janet!!
Susan…please tell Jose HAPPY BIRTHDAY! looking forward to seeing you both at Epcot next year. Hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration….
Happy Birthday to Jose! If Aunt Margaret were here, she’d send her love and a big hug.
Good morning. I sincerely hope that you are keeping very fine, in good health. Please accept my heartiest wishes on your birthday, tomorrow.
Sanjay Kumar Joshi
Hope everyone is OK.
Would you please wish Jose a Happy Birthday from us - we had a great time a couple of weeks ago at the Jazz Cafe - it’s always good to see Jose and he was in good form…
You know I think it’s fair to say that a day doesn’t go by without us thinking of Jose…
So love to you all and take care,
Alan & Anita
Want to wish you a Very Happy Birthday with many birthday presents. Have fun with your family and friends, celebrate a big birthday party.
Take care and live healthy, because the world needs so much your music.
Cordialles saludes de alemania
No birthday tribute to Jose could ever be complete without including, once again, the “NUMERO UNO, Absolutely Quintessential, Birthday Message” from Teddy Arnold. It was written on the occasion of our Online Birthday Party back in 1998 where Teddy, Jose’s bassist and Best Man and endearingly Best Friend, recalled a birthday some 20 years earlier “on the road,’ in Salt Lake City.
Just a month ago Teddy shared that hilarious memory with us again when he and his wife, Carol, traveled to Connecticut to help us celebrate another milestone, our 40th Anniversary of having met in 1971 and our 29th Wedding Anniversary, on August 2nd. We laughed about it ‘out loud’ that night and want very much to include it here again:
Happy Birthday, Mammonn. Carol, Sarah Beth, Jake and I wish you and the rest of your family could be out here with us to help you celebrate.
Thought I’d send you a one of my favorite memories for all to share:
In September of 1978, Jose, myself and Marcus Terry, the drummer at the time, found ourselves celebrating Jose’s birthday in Salt Lake City. It was about 1 in the morning and we were parked in front of the hotel in Hertz’s best ‘78 Mercury station wagon. I asked Jose what he would like for a birthday present. “I’ve always wanted to drive a car”, he said. “No problem”, I said. Marcus immediately assumed a fetal position in the back seat. Jose took the driver’s seat and I rode “shotgun”. Jose said to me, “Now wait a minute, I mean, I want to DRIVE the car. If you’re holding onto the steering wheel, that doesn’t count.” “Hey man, YOU are going to drive this car”, I said. Marcus’s thumb went into his mouth. I set the ground rules. I said, “Jose, I will tell you when and
which way to turn, when to hit the gas, and when to hit the brakes.
Other than than that, you are on your own.
You have complete control of this car. I’m just going along for the ride.”Jose said, “Let’s do it.” Marcus closed his eyes and the adventure began.
Slowly, Jose pulled away from the curb and headed for the Mormon Tabernacle (I always have thought there was something significant about that. I’m not sure what though.) We opened all of the windows and enjoyed the early September night air. Passing out of downtown, we saw a Salt Lake City police cruiser parked by a Dunkin Donuts store. We waved. They honked a greeting in return, between slurps of coffee and bites of donuts. We had fooled Salt Lake City’s finest. So far so good. Jose was following the directions without any problem.
“Go straight, turn just a little bit left to straighten out. OK, hit your brakes, just slightly”, etc. Even Marcus was opening one eye.
Finally, about a mile or two out of town, we all decided that it was time to turn around. It was late and Jose didn’t want to take a chance of falling asleep at the wheel. Jose successfully negotiated three left turns. On the right turn, which would have put us back on the street toward the hotel, a cab driver, who wasn’t totally awake, was making a left onto the same street, and, when Jose made a right, the cab driver almost hit us. The cabby got out of his car and came running up to the window to complain, when, he got site of the driver. Recognizing Jose, his mouth remained open, and he just stared. Jose broke the silence with, “We’re lost. Can you tell us how to get to the Mormon Tabernacle?”……….. And, so, I was able to give a memorable birthday present to Jose in 1978.
P.S. As we passed the Dunkin Donuts store, the same police car was still there. Salt Lake City’s finest was still munching donuts and drinking coffee. We waved, they honked back.
A good time was had by all.
Jose, I love you brother. Happy Birthday/ Teddy
Thanks, Teddy. God bless…