NEW YORK - This is the time of year holiday music fills the air.
Legendary singer and guitarist Jose Feliciano stills gets great joy out of singing his Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad."
Feliciano recorded Feliz Navidad in 1970.
"Yes I did teach people Spanish, They can say Feliz Navidad Feliz Prospero Año y felicidad," said Feliciano.
He added, "The Spanish people can say I want to wish you a Merry Christmas."
The 73-year-old recently stopped by the Spectrum News NY1 studios to promote his Saturday night show at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in The Bronx.
Feliciano was born in Puerto Rico and came to Manhattan when he was five years old.
"I lived on 103rd street for those first five years of my life in New York. In 1955, I moved from 103rd street to the Lower East Side to Henry Street," said Feliciano. "I honed my skills in New York. Because if people in New York like you, you are going to make it anywhere."
His first mega hit, a version of The Doors' classic, "Light My Fire."
In response to a question about what made his version of "Light My Fire" so popular, Feliciano jokingly said, "I don't know, I could say well it was good. I was surprised myself because originally I didn't want to record Light My Fire. I didn't expect for Light My Fire to be a hit."
Feliciano was a shooting star after that song hit the radio in the late 1960s.
But his career nearly ended after singing the National Anthem at a 1968 World Series game in Detroit.
During a time of civil rights and antiwar protests, he was the first to ever publicly perform a soulful rendition of the song which was seen on TV across the country. He recalled wanting to sing it with a gospel and soul feel out of respect for the country. Many didn't receive it that way and viewed it as being disrespectful at the time.
"It was hell for me because radio stations stopped playing my music so I had to get out of that problem," Feliciano said.
While reflecting back, he said, "Luckily for me the show, 'Chico and the Man' came around." With that he started singing and playing on his guitar the theme song to the 1974 sitcom which was about changing cultures in a growing Mexican-American community in Los Angeles.
The seven time Grammy winner wrote and performed the TV show's theme song.
At 73 years old, Feliciano said despite being blind he has truly been blessed by God with the ability to play multiple instruments and have career spanning five decades.