Freddy Fender is a singer-songwriter, born in the small town of Bakersfield, California. He began his career as a country & western artist before embarking on an eclectic musical path that has led him to create signature songs for both John Cougar Mellencamp and Johnny Cash. His unique voice includes elements of blues rock and soul music with insatiable energy and pure joy.
Freddy Fender is an American country music singer-songwriter. He is best known for his hit songs “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and “Ain’t That a Lot of Love.”
Freddy Fender was one of country music’s few Hispanic artists, a singer and songwriter whose work was marked by a strong Latin sensibility. Fender started playing guitar as a kid, when he was born Baldemar Huerta to a family of migrant workers in San Benito, Texas. In 1958, he issued his first Spanish-language records under his given name, after dropping out of school at the age of 16 to join the Marine Corps.
While his early sides were well-received in Texas and Mexico, he chose to change his stage name and add a more rockabilly vibe in 1959 in order to appeal to “gringo” audiences. The next year, he released his most popular song to date, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” which he wrote himself. Fender, however, was found guilty of marijuana possession in May 1960 and sentenced to five years in Louisiana’s infamous Angola State Prison (the same correctional facility which once held blues legend Leadbelly). Following the efforts of Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis, he was paroled after three years on the condition that he remain away from the corruptive effects of the music industry. Fender attempted to restart his career when his parole expired, but with the exception of a few nightclub performances in the New Orleans region, he had little success and eventually returned to San Benito.
He worked as an auto mechanic in Texas for many years and even went back to school to get his bachelor’s degree in sociology. In 1974, he met Huey P. Meaux, the proprietor of the Crazy Cajun label in Houston; after signing a recording contract, Meaux persuaded Fender to change his music’s direction to country & western while retaining his Hispanic origins. Fender’s first Meaux-produced single, “Before the Next Teardrop Falls,” was released on Crazy Cajun after failing to draw the attention of a big label; in the early weeks of 1975, the song reached the top of both the country and pop charts, and Fender became an instant sensation. He re-recorded his early song, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” for the follow-up, and scored his second consecutive number one country hit. He scored another chart-topper in “Secret Love” before the end of the year, as well as two LPs, Since I Met You Baby and a self-titled effort.
Fender’s popularity lasted throughout the rest of the 1970s, most notably with the number two song “Living It Down” in 1976. He released two additional albums that year, Your Cheatin’ Heart and Rock ‘N’ Country. In 1977, he also released Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad, a festive album. His fame started to wane as the 1980s progressed; following his last chart hit, “Chokin’ Kind,” in 1983, he concentrated on acting, including a role in the 1988 Robert Redford film The Milagro Beanfield War. He remained relatively unknown as a musician until 1990, when he joined Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Meyers to create the Tex-Mex ensemble Texas Tornados. The trio dissolved after three albums, and Fender continued his solo career.
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Freddy Fender was born on September 10, 1939 in San Antonio, Texas. He is an American musician who is best known for his work as a country music singer. Freddy Fender has released more than 50 albums and sold over 100 million records worldwide. Reference: where was freddy fender (born).
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