(MCA) 16 tracks - Original reocrdings from 1974 to 1977
In 1975, after some 20 years of fighting the hard times while trying to make his name in the music business, Texas born Baldermar Huerta suddenly found himself the dynamic, 'new' sensation of the U.S. country music scene with the waves of success flowing over into pop and rock realms. The title of the song that made it all happen was 'Before The Next Teardrop Falls' and the name of the sensation was Freddy Fender. And, as if to prove that he wasn't just a one shot wonder, he quickly followed up with a second million seller,'Wasted Days And Wasted Nights', a raunchy rhythm 'n' blues offering that he had originally recorded (and made a regional hit) back in 1960.
The Freddy Fender story is truly amazing and clearly shows the singer's determination to make it, come what may. It wasn't easy. The son of migrant farm workers, Freddy served his musical apprenticeship amidst the beer joints of his native San Benito during the mid 1950s and, by the decade's end, was making his first recordings, in Spanish, which built him a steady following in Texas and the Mexican border area. A drug bust in 1960, followed by three years in jail and a parole condition that forbid any connection with the entertainment business, called a halt to his ambitions for several years, and he eventually returned to music while holding down a day job as a mechanic and attending college. Then, in 1974, he met up with Louisiana's legendary r&b record producer, Huey Meaux, leading on to Freddy recording-- as he states -- 'songs in English for the gringos' while maintaining his output of 'all Spanish' material. 'Before The Next Teardrop Falls' was among the first songs recorded and, with the combination of the singer's unique vocals, lyrics performed in part English, part Spanish and Huey Meaux's simplistic but tight production, the single quickly rose to number one on the country charts and then broke over to the pop market. Freddy Fender had arrived, and with a style that was distinctly his own.
This album contains sixteen of Freddy Fender's finest performances to date, including two further number ones — 'Secret Love' (that old movie song, clearly showing that the FenderMeaux partnership was prepared to take on all manner of material) and 'You'll Lose A Good Thing' — as well as half a dozen other high chart entries, such as that famed country classic 'The Wild Side Of Life' and a song that perhaps might seem more appropriate to the singer's own musical heritage, 'Vaya Con Dios'. But nothing is predictable about Freddy Fender and his music stretches across the widest spectrum. Likewise with Huey Meaux's production which successfully combines the areas of country, rock and rhythm 'n' blues and, with 'We'll Take Our Last Walk Tonight' even excels his usual high standards as he brings in a 15 piece black gospel choir to accompany the singer's lead vocals on this Doug Sahm evergreen.
Freddy Fender's success was born out of the years of paying his dues, and those days can hardly he better remembered than with his '50s Medley' which concludes this album package. He dedicates the selection to those "wonderful workhorse musicians like me who do not only remember the 50's, but have lived through them:' Freddy Fender continues to keep traditions alive.
Album compilation and sleeve notes by Tony Byworth
geb. 4. 6. 1937 in San Benito - TexasRecord Labels: Duncan, lmperial, Goldband, Power Pak,Dot, ABC, GRT, Starfiite, Warner BrothersErster No. 1 Hit: Before The xt Teardrop Falls (1975)Baldemar G. Huerta, er nannte sich später Freddy Fender,ist Amerikaner, mexikanischer Abstammung, ein sogenannter Tex-Mex. Mit lispelnder, scharfer Stimme beganner in den 50er Jahren mit Rock & Roll und Tex-Mex-Music,ohne jedoch größeres Aufsehen zu erregen. Dann saß er einpaar Jahre im Angola State Prison und wurde nach seinerEntlassung von dem Produzenten Huey Meaux langsam,aber systematisch aufgebaut. Gleich sein erster Hit ,BeforeThe Next Teardrop Falls“ kam auf Platz 1 der CountryCharts. Noch im gleichen Jahr folgten zwei weitere No. 1Erfolge. Freddy Fender war etabliert. Dennoch, er konnteseinen Höhenflug nicht beibehalten und Ende der 70erJahre war er wieder bei mittleren Chartpositionen angekommen. Auch die 80er Jahre sahen Freddy Fender nur imunteren Viertel der Charts.