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Page 6 The Salina Journal Sunflower Sunday. November 15.1961 Jose Feliciano records new LP for Motown Jose Feliciano Like many other recording artists, it took Jose Feliciano a few years to establish himself as a well-known musician. Raised in New York City's Spanish Harlem, the blind Puerto-Rican born musician started playing guitar and singing at folk houses in Greenwich Village, where he was discovered in 1965 by RCA Records. Feliciano recorded many albums on that label, including some Spanish ones, earning 32 gold albums around the world and two Grammy Awards. His most memorable year was probably 1968, when he recorded the Doors' "Light My Fire." After a five-year absence from the studio, he is back with a new album, "Jose Feliciano," on Motown Records. Concert opened door In October, 1980, he performed at a benefit concert put together by Motown, the predominantly black label that started Stevie Wonder, the Temptations and the Jackson Five on booming careers. Feliciano was surprised to get a phone call the next day from Motown chairman Berry Gordy's office about a record deal. Gordy was originally going to oversee the album as executive producer. But he entered the studio with Feliciano for one song and became so involved that he ended up producing the whole album. Burl Hechtman, Feliciano's manager, says the last tune Gordy did this was 10 years ago, with Michael Jackson. Feliciano's album includes several updates of Motown classics such as "Ain't That Peculiar," "Second That Emotion" and "I Wanna Be Where You Are." He says, however, that his own style has not been masked by the Motown sound. The record also includes some of his originals, like his first single, "Everybody Loves Me," a beautiful ballad. Feliciano had wanted to be a part of the "Motown Family" for years. "I just think that because I do soulful music it was the ideal place for me because Motown can get a lot of soul material to me. I'm also respected by black people, many of whom are my fans." He is anxious to see how his new album will be received by the public, and is already looking forward to the next one. Australia's Billy Thorpe has 3rd solo album Q: Can you tell me whatever happened to the Aztecs? — John Whitney, El Paso, Texas A: Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, who earned a dozen No. 1 singles, disbanded in the mid-'70s. But don't despair. Thorpe, an Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist, has been doing solo work. "Children of the Sun" was Thorpe's 1979 American debut LP, followed by "21st Century Man." "Stimulation" is his third American album. Thorpe wrote all the songs, coproduced the LP with Pasha (one of CBS's record labels) President Spencer Proffer, played most of the instruments and sang all the lead vocals. •ff -tr -tr Q: Is Rita Coolidge going to be touring in the United States this year? — Joan Wilson, Sandwich, HI. A: Yes, the multi-talented Ms. Coolidge will be sweeping the country with a major U.S. tour this fall. Ms. Coolidge has just finished a South African tour and is promoting her latest LP, "Heartbreak Radio." •tr -tr tr Q: Can you tell me a little about Robert Ellis Orrall? I saw him in a nightclub in New York City and think he's just wonderful. — Sara Daly, Queens, New York A: Robert Ellis Orrall has released his first album on RCA Records, "Fixation;" the first single is "Actually." Orrall was born in 1955 and raised in a small town near Boston. He joined his first rock band, the JB4, in 1964 as drummer. He went from band to band during the '60s and '70s. Finally in the '80s he formed his current lineup with Kook La wry, David Stefanelli and Don Walden. Orrall sings, plays keyboards and guitar, •fr £ -tr Q: Could you tell me what year Pablo Cruise became a band? — Dan Schaeffer, Biloxi, Miss. A: In 1973 Pablo Cruise was formed by keyboard player Cory Lerios, drummer Steve Price and guitarist-vocalist Dave Jenkins, The band released its first album in 1975. In 1977, with the LP "A Place in the Sun," Pablo Cruise established itself as a band that reaches a wide audiences. Their latest LP, "Reflector," has brought us the single "Cool Love." •fr * -tr Got a question? Mail it to Pop Scene Service, United Feature Syndicate, 200 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. Billy Thorpe 10017. Only the most interesting questions will be used and no personal replies can be given. Cuban musician escapes to U.S. Top singles Rock, soul and jazz are a few of America's greatest exports to other countries. When new sounds are imported here, it usually makes waves among music fans and critics. African music, filtered to us through the Talking Heads, and Jamaican reggae, delivered by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, are two examples. When a Cuban group called Irakere appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1978, its music blew the minds of jazz aficionados. The group had created its own brand of Cuban music, a mixture of jazz, rock and classical. Irakere was the first Cuban group Fidel Castro gave permission to record for an American label (Columbia). They won a Grammy for the best Latin album of 1979. "Deputy director" (his Cuban title) of the group was Paquito D'Rivera, who plays alto and soprano saxophone, flute and flugelhorn. D'Rivera wanted to come to America badly. He called it his "golden dream." His parents and a sister have been living in New Jersey for years but, as a musician, D'Rivera was in a privileged Paquito D'Rivera category in Cuba, which meant that the government was not willing to part with his services. Then, on a European tour with Irakere, D'Rivera took off and hid in Madrid. From there he made his way to America. "It wasn't strictly a political decision," he says. "It was a professional decision. In Cuba everything is concerned with politics. But I'm a musician." Since coming to this country, D'Rivera has been asked to play with stars like McCoy Tyner and Dizzy Gillespie. Listen to the way he turns around the. standard "On Green Dolphin Street" on his first American solo album, "Paquito Blowin'," and you'll understand why. Crouch album may be breakthrough Andrae Crouch's album, "Don't Give Up," could be the first major breakthrough of gospel into pop music (that is, if you don't count Bob Dylan's recent works). Crouch is a leading figure in gospel and inspirational music. But listening, for instance, to a song like "Hollywood Scene," about a runaway youth's fall into corruption, it's hard to separate the theme from the disco rhythms. "God's put me in touch with the mainstream," Crouch says. RECORD, Performer (Last Week) 1. -Arthur's Theme, Christopher Cross (1) 2. Start Me Up, Rolling Stones (2) 3. For Your Eyes Only, Sheena Easton (3) 4. Step by Step, Eddie Rabbitt (4) 5. Private Eyes, Daryl Hall & John Dates (6) 6. Endless Love, Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (5) 7. Hard to Say, Dan Fogelberg (7) 8. The Night Owls, Little River Band (8) 9. I've Done Everything for You, Rick Spring- Held (9) * 10. Tryin' to Live My Life without You, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (10) WATCH THESE: Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Diana Ross; Leather and Lace, Stevie Nicks and Don Henley. Top albums RECORD, Performer (Last Week) 1. Tattoo You, Rolling Stones (1) 2. Nine Tonight, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (2) 3. Escape, Journey (3) 4. The Innocent Age, Dan Fogelberg (4) 5. 4, Foreigner (5) 6. Songs in the Attic, Billy Joel (7) 7. Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks (6) 8. Private Eyes, Daryl Hall & John Dates (8) 9. Give the People What They Want, Kinks (10) 10. Ghost in the Machine, Police (IS) UP 'N' COMING: King Cool, Donnie Iris; All the Greatest Hits, Diana Ross.