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Freddy Fender

Freddy Fender was one of the few Hispanic stars in country music, a singer and songwriter whose work was defined largely by its strong Latin sensibility. Born Baldemar Huerta to a family of migrant laborers in San Benito, TX, on June 4, 1937, Fender began playing guitar early in his childhood. After dropping out of school at the age of 16 to join the Marine Corps, he released his first Spanish-language recordings under his given name in 1958.

While his initial sides were successful with listeners in Texas and Mexico, in 1959 he decided to adopt his stage name, along with a stronger rockabilly feel, in order to attract "gringo" audiences. The following year, he released the self-penned "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," his most successful single yet. But in May of 1960, Fender was convicted of marijuana possession, and was sentenced to five years in Louisiana's notorious Angola State Prison (the same correctional facility which once held blues legend Leadbelly). After serving three years, he was paroled thanks to the efforts of Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis, on the condition that upon Fender's release he stay away from the corruptive influences of the music scene. After his parole ended, Fender tried to re-ignite his career, but with the exception of a few scattered nightclub gigs in the New Orleans area, he found little success, and ultimately returned to San Benito.

In Texas, he spent several years working as an auto mechanic, and even returned to school to pursue a degree in sociology. In 1974, he met Huey P. Meaux, the owner of the Houston-based Crazy Cajun label; after agreeing on a recording deal, it was Meaux who convinced Fender to steer in the direction of country & western while maintaining his music's Hispanic roots. After Fender's first Meaux-produced single, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," failed to attract the attention of a major label, it was released on Crazy Cajun; in the first weeks of 1975, the song hit the top of both the country and pop charts, and Fender became an overnight star. For the follow-up, he re-recorded his early single, "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," and notched his second straight number one country hit. Before the year ended, he had released yet another chart-topper in "Secret Love," and also issued two LPs, Since I Met You Baby and a self-titled effort.

Throughout the remainder of the '70s, Fender's success continued, most notably with the number two single "Living It Down" in 1976. That same year, he released two more albums, Your Cheatin' Heart and Rock 'N' Country. In 1977, he also issued a holiday record, Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad. As the 1980s dawned, however, his popularity began slipping; after his final chart hit, 1983's "Chokin' Kind," he focused on an acting career, highlighted by an appearance in the 1988 Robert Redford film The Milagro Beanfield War. He remained largely silent as a musician until 1990, when he formed the Tex-Mex supergroup Texas Tornados with Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Meyers. After three albums, the group disbanded, and Fender again resumed his solo career. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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I was in Pohang, Korea in 1978 and listened to Freddy at a bar. Will always remember you. "Where Ever You Are Brother".
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Señor. Chingon
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I swear.Freddy with Dwight. Calmate pendehos
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bobjacobs90
Just a gringo who misses his beautiful music
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Dile las cosas como son ....
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redskinbabyd o l l
I grew up listening to Freddy Fender, have always always loved his music. I was about 29 years old when he did on of his final performances of his life. He played at the rodeo/fair in Kenniwick Washington, I was blessed (rather demanded) that I got sent to work his security detail...for the show...it was a memory NO ONE can ever take from me...even now in my 40's I still love listening to him! RIP sweet F.F.
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He was a great one
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I knew a guy that used to stutter when talking but he did never stutter singing Freddy Fender songs as for me I love his songs reminds me of the days I came in from Colombia
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Arrrriba LA Resaca City of no pity bad a** rola...
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joeramonnune z
Grew up listening with my father lots of memories...w a s his favorite good ole Freddy fender...
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Miss you Freddy!
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wpedro9
As death looms nearer and nearer; the songs and singers of our youth remind us of when we fell in love and felt invincible! I pray we take "the" memories and songs with us when we pass! God Bless Freddie Fender's soul and family. jrpedroza
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Nice
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I'm 32 and I love Freddy Fenders music. His music still lives on.
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segalarza
Viva Freddy Fender. Viva San Beni. Awesome musician!!!!
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I'm 37 and my dad raised me listening to freddy fender and I love it til this day and my children at 19 16 18 love his music as well
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teresabueno4
The never forgotten legend!
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I have almost all of of Fenders CD.love his music his style forever a fan
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Lonches
I was in Corpus Christi , sat at a table with strangers. Feddie was on the jukebox, being
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My mom born in san benito tx.home of freddy fender.man I remember jamming with my mom to freddys music.wish she was still around.miss the hell out of her.
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Old school
Music , my family loved and loves his music , classic , ways make me drift down memory lane of better days . My grandparents being alive . Tear ��
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for someone i once loved who left me all to soon. rest in the arms of the angels
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Freddie could jam
His music remains me of the good old days.
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FREDDY FENDER WAS A GREAT SINGER MY FAMILY LISTENED TO HIS MUSIC THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, HE WAS MY MOM'S FAVORITE SINGER :)
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grniqt2706
Always and still loved Freddy!
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Awé. I love freddy fender's músic..remin d s me of my mom n dad! :)
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Love his music always
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Good honest clean music...I'm 34 and lime the hell out if ol' Fender!
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Greatest singers in rio grande valley history
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Love his music always.
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The best country music love wasted days wasted nights, before next teardrop fall , saludos desde sacramemto CA
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Is he still alive
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My daddy loved Freddy Fender now I do...
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Josey he was great saw him in grand junction colorado years ago with fito livares
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Grate song
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Freddy used to steal one shoe from girls at dances, ask my sisters. I was born in San Bene, that's what we called San Benito. I didnt have to pay to hear him play, we would just stand close to the door at "El Jardin" .
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One of my mom favorite singer
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Freddy was and will always be my favorite singer. It was a total surprise for me when my Son took me to see Freddy sing, in Ventura California. At the end of the concert my son took me up on the stage and told Freddy. Freddy today is my moms birthday and I grew up hearing your muisic.my mom use to sing and dance with the song wasted days and wasted nights. So I think she deserves a kiss and a hug from you. Freddy said, Seguro que si mi hijo, and he gave me a hug and a kiss. God love him.
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Y it happens. ... -who knows. :-(
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love this song brings back memories of someone i loved and died to young. puppy love!!
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elcowboy188
The old music siempre sera' una de las mejores para los recuerdos
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Freddy Fender is a always will be a Texas's legend and part of Texas history ..!!!
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gonz805
I HAVE FRIENDS IN OXNARD CA THAT WERE FREDYS NEIGHBORS IN SAN BENITO TEJAS
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gonz805
RIP FREDDIE FENDER!!!
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gs_esfeller5 9
Que bello theme Freddy Fender lindo recuerdo
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I remember when he and mad dad would get my uncle to come over from houston, just so they could go thru memory lane. I can remember all the noise they would make. good times. I miss all three of them.
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comprud2004
the best ever to sing country
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I am in shock, I can not beleive my Freddy Fender is gone since 2006, Hope he didnot suffer a lot, God is taking care of his soul now, be in peace my greatest Freddy Fender. I will always remember you and I am thankful that you left all your songs. Lots of love
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I love freddy Fender your music..=)
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