Wilson Post Blogs
Feliciano can still light up a crowd with his songs
Dear Ken: There was a blind singer and guitarist named Jose Feliciano who had a big hit with “Light My Fire” in 1968s. Does he still perform?
Yes. Feliciano, 66, who was born José Montserrate Feliciano García in Lares, Puerto Rico, continues to entertain. He moved with his parents and 11 brothers to Spanish Harlem in New York City when he was 5. After receiving a guitar as a gift, the youngster practiced as much as 14 hours a day before taking classical lessons. When he was 17, he dropped out of school and turned professional. The international star also wrote and performs the Christmas classic “Feliz Navidad.” He and his wife live with their three children in a 275-year-old former tavern-turned-homestead on a river in Fairfield County, Conn. The multi-Grammy winner says of his success, “I used to be a dreamer in school. I never, in all my wildest days, would ever think I’d become kind of a Latin idol to the women in Latin countries or a hero to young kids. I never thought of that. My main interest really was playing music. I was always fascinated by the sound I could get out of things. I’m just, a very lucky person, that God gave me the chance to do what I'm doing.”
Dear Ken: I remember a series of Blondie and Dagwood movies in the 1940s, starring Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake. Was there ever a TV series based on the famous comic strip?
There were 28 feature films, based on the Chic Long comic strip, that ran from 1938 to 1950 and starred Lake and Singleton. There were two “Blondie” TV series. The 1957 version starred Lake as Dagwood and Pamela Britton as Blondie. Then a 1968 series, “The New Blondie,” starred Will Hutchins as Dagwood and Patricia Harty as Blondie. The “Blondie” comic strip debuted in 1930 and is written today by Young’s son Dean. At its height it was read by 52 million people a day.
Dear Ken: Just saw where Beatles drummer Ringo Starr turned 72. What hit songs did he have as a solo artist and how long has he been married to actress Barbara Bach?
Starr’s hit tunes in the U.S. include “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Back Off Boogaloo,” “Photograph,” “You’re Sixteen,” “Oh My My,” “Only You” and “No No Song.” The Liverpool lad, formerly known as Richard Starkey, met Bach on the set of the film “Caveman” in 1980 and they have been married for 32. Now a grandpa, Starr has three children by his first wife.
Dear Ken: Where was Alex Trebek born and how long has he hosted “Jeopardy”? Who was the “Jeopardy” host before him?
Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, and became a naturalized American citizen in 1998. He has been the host of “Jeopardy” since 1984. The game show, conceived by Merv Griffin, debuted in 1964, and Art Fleming was the original host with Don Pardo as the announcer. Thank you, Don Pardo!