The Corner

O Say Can You Hear?

Jose Feliciano will sing the national anthem at a tribute to Ernie Harwell in Detroit on Monday night, the first Tigers home game since Harwell died last week. As minor, half-forgotten controversies go, this is a pretty big deal. Feliciano’s rendition of the national anthem at Tiger Stadium during the 1968 World Series irritated a lot of people because it was nontraditional. Feliciano performed it at the recommendation of Harwell.

This was all before my time, and I only dimly remember anything about the fuss. I don’t think I’d heard a recording of the performance until just now, when I looked it up on the interwebs. I must say, I kinda like Feliciano’s version.

UPDATE: More proof that our readers are everywhere:

I was a ninth grade kid sitting in along Tiger Stadium’s  third base line at Game 4 of the 68 series. I got to see Jose do his rendition, and I believe that was the first time anyone ever “renditioned” the Star Spangled Banner! When he finished, I’d say about a third of the crowd was booing. Though I liked what he did, I had many arguments about this over the next few days with my parents and friends!

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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