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N.Y. Encyclopedia of Famous Puerto Ricans    

                                                             Cheo Feliciano


    Jose " Cheo " Feliciano, was born in Ponce (Puerto Rico). Son of humble parents, studies in the Free School of Music of his town and being a boy a small musical group called the Stand for casks organizes in Christmas the Tins, because those were the used instruments. Its inclination at that time is oriented towards the percussion. To the 17 years it is transferred with his family to New York and leaves the studies to follow the orchestras fashionable at that time: Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez.
Their beginnings as percusionista professional were within the group "Ciro Rimac's Review", with them travel to Canada. To their return to New York Rodriguez collaborates in the orchestra of Tito, in the Marianaxi set de Luis Cross and also like percusionista of the orchestra of Kako and its Trabuco. Tito Rodriguez is noticed of the good voice of Cheo and it invites it to share the top with him. In 1957, Joe Cuba remains without singer and Tito recommends to him to Cheo where a faithful public begins to gain who will follow it there where he goes.

    Cheo, after its stage of 10 years in the sexteto of Joe Cuba, is an authentic leader of Caribbean Music and sings with the orchestra of Eddie Palmieri. After his wretch passage by the world of the drug, that separates it from the scenes, it returns with force in already narrated concert of the Fania All Star of 1971.

    Its form to say him towards having an own style, representing single a style and a tendency in the Bolero did not have shades and in the Rumba and the refined Guaracha and falsified that it recreated, nobody dared to imitate the steps to him.

    I have to recognize that Cheo Feliciano is my authentic ídolo and I had the taste to interview to him in New York in 1990, when gave to an answer with its subject "How many things", to the erotizante wave that prevailed in the end of the decade of the 80 in the Sauce. The sensual voice of Cheo catches to you little by little and from no longer you can there be objective. I recommend all its record work (more than 25 Lp's), like I made with the one of Ismael Creek and we will take with the one of Rubén Blades, recognizing its logical low break and, Cheo is Cheo. His feeling gives own identity him to the Boleros, whereas their dulcifica meloso style of a unique form Are, the Guaracha and the Guaguancó.

    Cheo has obtained numerous prizes like the Gold owl, in Panama, the Gold Glass in Venezuela, the Daily News Award and the Latin New Award in New York, the Chin de Plata in Miami, the Agueybaná in Puerto Rico, etc...

    From 1975 march from New York to its Puerto Rico since its illusion was to live in a small house with a porch where to be able to seat calmly far from the worldly noise. In spite of everything we have to say that their appearances in direct, in the 70, never got to have the level of their discs when not counting on a stable orchestra and not taking care of much their voice. At the Cheo present time it has been able to make direct as hallucinating ones as its discs.

    Cheo was other rebel to that Fania tried to destroy, but Cheo created his own seal record, seal "Car" (Co is the diminutivo of its wife to that affectionately it calls the Coco and Che his own name), recording "25 years of feelings In October of the 84 next to Rubén Blades, Eddie Palmieri, Joe Cuba and Willie Columbus was presented/displayed the spectacle" Tribute to Cheo Feliciano "and at the moment Industralist of the world" Ralph records with RMM the new seal of the call "Market, that tries to generate another boom in the atmosphere of the Sauce in the decade of the 90. (Antonio Dwells in " Of Border to Border " - 1992)

A Voice? Thousand Memories

    A Voice? Thousand Memories are the new production of Jose " Cheo " Feliciano, one of the artists of greater impact than it has had the history of tropical music. In its new album tribute to legendary figures of Latin music renders to him like: Tito the Holy Rodriguez, Frankie Ruiz, Ismael Creek, Beny More', Mon Creek, Santitos Columbus, Gilberto Monroig, Daniel, Felipe Rodriguez and Héctor Lavoe. This CD, his fifth with RMM, had the musical production of Louis Garci'a and the same Feliciano.

    Feliciano, known also like?el Sir feeling? he recorded east album in Puerto Rico accompanied by an orchestra of 30 musicians for, of this form, to create his own interpretation of these classic subjects, to eter to us in our memory. Feliciano chose the thirteen songs that comprise of this album; among them, one of its own inspiration that wrote it and dedicated it to these prestigious Latin musical stars. " That If Sang Well " it is his form to render a tribute to these virtuosos who played an important role in the artistic and personal development of Feliciano.

    For this album Jose " Cheo " Feliciano it uses so famous his and tender style when singing in the ballad " I Needed Your '/Congoja " which recorded in tribute to Pablo " Tito " Rodriguez, also known like " the Rajah Of the Mambo ", during the time in which the Mambo was very popular. The originality of the song is in which Feliciano combines two very good subjects of Rodriguez, distinguished and prestigious singer very known by the popularity of all its ballads. Feliciano worked with this valuarte musical like valet before beginning his artistic race. The well-known impact that Rodriguez had in Feliciano can appreciate in another song of this same album when it sings a very danceable version to us of the Pretty " subject Yambú ".

    A Voz?Mil Memories is a touching tribute for the absent artists, who will always maintain impregnated their spirit in tropical music. Between this legend group it is Gilberto Monroig that was a pioneer of this music, being also singing of the orchestra of Tito Bridge in New York. Feliciano Simply " rewrote to an Illusion " honoring the memory of Monroig.

    Also tribute to the memory of its good ones renders *** TRANSLATION ENDS HERE ***  Amigos Hé ctor Lavoe y Frankie Ruiz. Feliciano dedica "Todo Tiene Su Final " a Lavoe qui é n falleci ó en junio de 1993. En el texto incluido en las p á ginas del CD, Feliciano llama a Lavoe el "cantante de cantantes ". En este CD tambi é n Feliciano usa su c á lida voz para ofrecernos una apasionada interpretaci ó n de una de las canciones que Frankie Ruiz, una leyenda del g é nero que feneci ó en agosto de 1998 a la edad de 40 a ñ os, hizo famoso en el estilo salsa. "Camionero " es un tributo a Ruiz, quien durante su carrera contribuy ó magistralmente en desarrollo de la m ú sica latina.

    La gran historia artística de Jos é "Cheo " Feliciano empez ó cuando abandon ó la escuela secundaria para seguir a las mejores orquestas del momento, entre ellas Machito, Tito Puente y Tito Rodr í guez. Despu é s de participar en una audici ó n con Joe Cuba, quien es ese momento buscaba un cantante para su sexteto, Feliciano se convirti ó en el cantante principal del grupo. Juntos grabaron 17 producciones, estrenadas en un per í odo de diez a ñ os por los sellos disqueros Seeco y Tico; Feliciano decidi ó convertirse en solista en 1965, aunque sigui ó trabajando con otras exitosas bandas de la ciudad de Nueva York hasta que en 1969 se retir ó de la industria musical.

    En 1972 regres ó para trabajar con la compa ñ í a Fania Records grabando el tema "Anacaona ". Su lanzamiento tuvo un gran impacto de manera instant á nea. Poco despu é s Feliciano se uni ó a la legendaria orquesta Fania All Stars, a la vez que continuaba grabando y present á ndose como solista. Su carrera tuvo un mayor auge al ganar el premio "Primera Plana " ofrecido por el peri ó dico Daily News, como el artista m á s popular en Nueva York, Nueva Jersey y Connecticut. Feliciano grab ó otros quince á lbumes como solista y como integrante de La Fania hasta que se retir ó del grupo e inaugur ó su propio sello discogr á fico en 1983.

    José "Cheo " Feliciano celebr ó sus 25 a ñ os en la industria de la m ú sica el 25 de mayo de 1983 con un concierto en el "Centro De Bellas Artes " junto a una orquesta de 25 m ú sicos. Este espect á culo fue titulado 25 A ñ os De Sentimiento y fue grabado en vivo; convirti é ndose en primera producci ó n de las cinco que lanz ó al mercado con su sello Coche Records.

    En 1990, se uni ó a RMM Records a pedido del fundador de este sello disquero Ralph Mercado. El primer á lbum que grab ó con RMM, Los Feelings de Cheo recaptur ó el lado rom á ntico del cantante. Su segunda producci ó n, Cantando, confirm ó una vez m á s su posici ó n como uno de los mejores int é rpretes de la m ú sica tropical. Para su tercero, Motivos combin ó la salsa y el bolero, adem á s de que trabaj ó junto al internacionalmente conocido trompetista Luis "Perico " Ortiz. Su cuarto á lbum Un Solo Beso fue un ‘ sue ñ o hecho realidad ’ para este legendario vocalista. Bajo la direcci ó n musical del famoso compositor mexicano Armando Manzanero, Feliciano ofreci ó un á lbum muy rom á ntico que naci ó de la combinaci ó n de sus fabulosos estilos.

    En 1995 Feliciano gan ó un disco de platino como parte de la exitosa producci ó n de RMM La Combinaci ó n Perfecta. En 1996 particip ó en Tropical Tribute To The Beatles que por sus ventas se le acredit ó tambi é n un disco de platino. Para esta producci ó n en que varios artistas grabaron canciones de los Beatles en estilo tropical, Feliciano cant ó el tema "Yesterday ".

    Jos é "Cheo " Feliciano ha cautivado a millones de personas alrededor del mundo y continúa causando inter é s con su nueva producci ó n. Una Voz … Mil Recuerdos es excepcional e impresionante ya que cuenta con arreglos musicales originales para cada una de las canciones. Adem á s hace un muy excelente trabajo combinando estas canciones para crear un tributo musical que traer á buenas memorias a algunos y dejar á nuevas en quienes por primera vez lo escuchar á n.

Links and references

Boricuas Hall Of Fame Home Page

Artistas Q & A 


Homenaje Senado de Puerto Rico (1984,1999)
Búho de oro ­ Panamá (1979,1985)
Hijo honorífico de la ciudad de Ponce (1982)
Copa de oro ­ Venezuela (1975)
Daily News Front Page Award ­ "Best Latin Vocalist" (1977)
Latin New York Magazine ­ Artista más popular (1976)

Discografía principal

Cheo/ Vaya Records (1971)
La voz sensual de Cheo/ Vaya (1972)
With a Little Help From my Friend/ Vaya (1973)
Felicidades/ Vaya (1973)
Looking for
Love/ Vaya (1974)
The Singer/ Vaya (1976)
Cheo's Rainbow/ Vaya (1976)
Mi tierra y yo/ Vaya (1977)
Estampas/ Vaya (1979)
Sentimiento, tú/ Vaya (1980)
Profundo/ Vaya (1982)
25 años de sentimiento/ Coche Records (1984)
Regresa el amor/ Coche (1985)
Sabor y sentimiento/ Coche (1987)
Te regalo mi sabor criollo/ Coche (1987)
Como tú lo pediste/ Coche (1988)
Los "feelings" de Cheo/ RMM Records (1990)
Cantando/ RMM (1991)- Yo soy con Gilberto Santa Rosa
Motivos (1994)
Pinceladas navideñas (1998
Una voz, mil recuerdos/ RMM (1999)
Soñar (con la Rondalla Venezolana
Le cantan al amor (con la Rondalla Venezolana)
Un solo beso (con Armando Manzanero)
Cheo en la intimidad (2002)

Discografía alterna

Champagne/ Eddie Palmieri (Tico, 1968)
Fania All Stars Live Vol. I y II(Fania, 1971)
Impacto Crea: Solamente (Vaya, 1972)
Our Latin Thing (Fania, 1972)
Impacto Crea: Cobarde (Vaya, 1973)
Hommy (Fania, 1973)
Fania All Stars Live: Latin-Soul-Rock (1974)
Fania All Stars Live at the Yankee Stadium (Fania, 1975)
Fania All Stars Tribute to Tito Rodríguez (Fania, 1976)
Salsa (banda sonora) (Fania, 1976)
Fania All Stars: Commitment (Fania, 1980)
Fania All Stars Latin Connection (Fania, 1981)
Eddie Palmieri: Cantan Cheo y Quintana (Bárbaro, 1981)
Artistas puertorriqueños: Música para el silencio (AP, 1985)
Los soneros de Ponce/ MP (1990) {con Ismael Quintana}
Combinación perfecta (RMM, 1994)
Tropical Tribute to the Beatles (1996)

                  Saturday January 10, 2004