Personalities | Freddy Fender | Country Rock & The Outlaws | Country
(Vocals, guitar, b. 1937)
Fender was born Baldemar Huerta in the southernmost tip of Texas, but adapted his Anglo stage name in the late 1950s as he shifted from the Tex-Mex music he grew up on to rockabilly. After a marijuana conviction, however, he was reduced to working as an auto mechanic when producer Huey Meaux coaxed him to Houston to make Latin-tinged country records. Their first three singles, ‘Before The Next Teardrop Falls’, ‘Wasted Days And Wasted Nights’ and ‘Secret Love’ all went to No. 1 on the country charts in 1975, thanks to Fender’s spectacular tenor and an astute blend of mainstream honky-tonk and Tex-Mex exoticism. Fender stayed on the country charts through to 1979, and he revived his career in 1990 by co-founding the Texas Tornadoes supergroup with Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers and Doug Sahm.
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