Singer Freddy Fender died of lung cancer Saturday, October 14th, at his home in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was 69.
During a career that spanned more than four decades, Fender enjoyed success in pop, Country and Tejano music. Born Baldemar Huerta, the son of migrant workers in San Benito, Texas, Freddy Fender was 23 years old when he earned his first taste of success with "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." Although the single was released in 1960, Freddy would have to wait 15 years to see it top the Country chart.
Soon after the song's release, he was arrested for possession of marijuana, and sent to prison for two years. After serving his jail sentence, Freddy worked as a mechanic in New Orleans, but continued to play music on the weekends.
By the early-1970s, he was back in the recording studio, making a string of Number One Country hits that included "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and a chart-topping remake of "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights."
Freddy's success on the Country charted faded in the 1980s. But, a decade later, he began a new chapter in his career as a member of the Grammy-winning Tejano band, the Texas Tornados, a Tex-Mex answer to the Traveling Wilburys, or as Mr. Fender referred to the quartet: the "Four Dorian Grays." The group also featured Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyer and the late Doug Sahm. Together, they blended rock, Country and various Mexican styles into their songs.
In addition to his music, Freddy also earned critical acclaim for his roles in various television and motion picture projects. Among his TV musical credits are 'Austin City Limits', 'Dinah!', and the 'Tonight' show.
- La pastorela (1991) TV Episode .... Tebano the Younger (pastore)
LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES
"The Dukes of Hazzard"
- Bye, Bye, Boss (1981) TV Episode .... Himself
Boss Hogg is kidnapped by an escaped prisoner who is seeking revenge, while Bo and Luke try to get Boss back. Meanwhile Sheriff Rosco is hot on the trail of the Dukes for a robbery committed by the kidnappers. Freddy Fender sings "Jambalaya."