Sunday, October 15, 2006

Country Singer Freddy Fender dies at age 69

As the years go by, more and more of the old time singers we grew up with are passing away. Today, Freddy Fender, who was a very popular country singer when my husband and I was dating, passed away.

Two of Fender's most popular songs back in those days were Wasted Days and Wasted Nights and Before the First Teardrop Falls. He began singing at a very early age. He changed his name from Baldemar Huerta to Freddy Fender in 1959, after his favorite guitar.

Fender had a string of bad luck, being busted for marijuana possession in 1960, about the time of his first hit with Wasted Days and Wasted Nights, and spent 3 years in prison. After his time in prison, he worked as a mechanic and in bars, and resurrected his career with Before the First Teardrop Falls.

In the 1990s, he played with the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, both of whom won Grammys for best Mexican-American music performance.

Fender won a third Grammy in 1992 for best Latin pop with his "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta" album.

He also acted in a number of television shows and movies, including "The Milagro Beanfield War" in 1988, directed by Robert Redford.

Fender has had lots of health problems, including a kidney transplant in 2002, a liver transplant in 2004, and then developed lung cancer, from which he died. He said he could not complain, because he had a good life, but he would have loved to lived a while longer.

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Laura Linger said...

When God made Freddy, He broke the mold, that's for sure. Thanks for remembering him.

Music took another big blow today, with the close of CBGB in NYC. Many famous and influential bands, like Blondie, the Talking Heads, and the Ramones, got their start there.

Kathleen Marie said...

I see a movie coming out of his life. I had no idea he went through all that turmoil. He definitely had his own unique style.

Glad I stopped by!