Benito - Hometown of Freddy Fender"
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, February 2006
understand why some people may not know much about Freddy Fender,
after all I count four other names he has performed under and his
career has started and stopped several times. But there is no doubt
Freddy is a true Texas grown talent that has left, and continues to
leave, his mark on Texas music history. When he sings his songs in
alternate Spanish and English it demonstrates his power and talent.
Grande Theatre in Harlingen
is probably the greatest singer, writer and musician of Mexican-American
heritage. Born Baldemar Huerta, in 1937, he started his musical
career as El Be- Bop Kid, then Freddy Fender, later
Eddie Medina and finally Scotty Wayne before he settling
on Freddy Fender. He won a $10 tub of food (first prize) in an amateur
talent contest at the Grand Theater in Harlingen.
At 16, he joined the Marines for a three year stint. He returned to
in the late 1950s, becoming a popular performer. He wrote Ay Amor
(Holy One) in 1955. When this was released in the Spring of 1957,
the flip side was No Seas Cruel (Don't Be Cruel). Freddy wrote
and recorded Secret Love which was also recorded by Doris Day.
water tower is in his hometown of San Benito on Hwy 77, 8 miles south
of the State of Texas Tourist facility where Hwy 77 intersects with
US 83." - Ken Rudine
records played in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, Mexico, Central and
South America and were credited with initiating Tejano music. "No
Seas Cruel" went to number one in Mexico and throughout South
America. Hispanic rock and roll was born, and Freddy Fender was its
As a guest at Louisiana's Angola State Penitentiary (for marijuana
possession) Freddy served three years - writing at least three songs
while an inmate. Released by Governor Jimmie Davis and barred by his
parole from being involved with the music industry for awhile, he
returned to San
Benito where he went back to school and became a sociology major.
It was in 1974 while Freddy was living in Corpus
Christi, that he recorded Before The Next Teardrop Falls.
His follow-up single was Wasted Days and Wasted Nights. Since
I Met You, Baby was Freddy's third cross-over single. Freddy is
part of the Texas Tornados - an on-again-off-again project. Freddy
is one of a handful of voices like Willie
Nelson, George Strait, Roy
Orbison, The Big
Bopper and Buddy Holly - voices that define the "Texas Sound."
from Webster & Associates Public Relations
Shoe Horses Don't They - March 9, 2006 Guest Column