From the Vault...


Freddy Fender
"The Best Of Freddy Fender"

© MCA Records

Year of Release: 1976

track listing
  • Before The Next
    Teardrop Falls
  • Wasted Days And
    Wasted Nights
  • Secret Love
  • You'll Lose A Good Thing
  • Vaya Con Dios
  • Livin' It Down
  • Sugar Coated Love
  • Wild Side Of Life
  • Since I Met You Baby
  • The Rains Came
  • I Love My Rancho Grande
  • Mathilda

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    Freddy Fender
    "The Best Of Freddy Fender"

    His real name was Baldemar Garza Huerta, but we knew him better as Freddy Fender. He made his mark as a Country singer. His two biggest hits (which reached #1) were "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and "Waseted Days And Wasted Nights." He was also a member of the Tex-mex band, The Texas Tornados, with Doug Sahm. The Best Of Freddy Fender has the two songs mentioned, and other hits. In fact, at the beginning of "Wasted Days And Wasted Night," Freddy dedicates this song to Doug Sahm. Although his service in the Marine Corps as a teenager ended in a discharge due to his alcoholism, he performed as a Mexican singer, singing songs in combined English and Spanish. He would later change his name to Freddy Fender -- The "Fender" last name was taken from guitar and amplifier, and "Freddy" because the name sounded good, and would "sell better with Gringos."

    Twelve songs are on the Best Of. His version of Doris Day's "Secret Love" is just beautiful. I vaugely remember his "You'll Lose A Good Thing," another great song. "Vaya Con Dias" is another good version by Freddy, as this song was more famous, by Les Paul & Mary Ford. "Livin' It Down" is another well-done and pretty song. "Sugar Coated Love" is a great, old-fashioned rock & roll tune. It's a tune that reminds me of Johnny Rivers' "Mountain Of Love" style. It also compares to Elvis Presley's "Little Sister." "Wild Side Of Life" is a remake of the Hank Thompson classic, with an update of Fender's mexican country style.

    "Since I Met You Baby" is another remake, originally by Marty Robbins. Again, Fender brings his mexican country style to its excellence. "The Rains Came" is definitely Country, as Fender's voice makes it even better. "I Love My Rancho Grande" is definitely Tex-Mex, with pure mexican vocals. (If you like Tex-Mex, you will enjoy Freddy's other band, The Texas Tornados, with Doug Sahm.) The last track combines both Country and Blues - "Mathilda."

    The Best Of Freddy Fender is a great collection of Country's greatest Mexican singer. His style is Country, yet he brings his mexican style and singing of both English and Mexican vocals making him an even better artist in both languages in music. His mix of combining mexican into Country was a great combination, and a fresh of breath air to the music of the 1970s. There were so many diffrerent styles in music of that decade, which made the 1970s a great decade in music. (Although some claim there were a lot of "lame" songs recorded throughout the decade, but the variety of styles were endless.)

    Most of the songs from this Best Of are included in a two-fer of Freddy's albums - Before The Next Teardrop Falls/Are You Ready For Freddy (1974/1975). Also to mention, that the songs that were not originally on these two albums are bonus tracks. The album Before The Next Teardrop Falls had four tracks: "I Love My Rancho Grande," "Wasted Days And Wasted Nights," "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and "Wild Side Of Life." Are You Ready For Freddy had only one: "Secret Love." Bonus Tracks: "Vaya Con Dios," "You'll Lose A Good Thing," "The Rains Came" (originally from "Rock 'N' Country [1976]), "Since I Met You Baby" (from Since I Met You Baby [1975]), "Livin' It Down" (from If YOu're Ever In Texas [1976]). (Note: "Mathilda" was from Rock 'N' Country, and "Sugar Coated Love" was the flip side of "The Rains Came." It's possible these bonus tracks were included, due to the original albums they were from, have yet to be reissued on CD. The album cover for The Best Of Freddy Fender is also award-winning. It's more of a great cartoon drawing picture of Freddy, in the old West.

    Freddy Fender recorded many albums throughout his solo career, including Christmas and Spanish. He was also in another group, other than the Texas Tornados - Los Super Seven. They recorded 3 albums (1998-2005). This group included (throughout the three albums) of other artists, including Doug Sahm, Joe Ely, Flaco Jiminez (Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornados), Ruben Ramos, Rick Trevino, and members of Los Lobos: David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Steve Berlin. Their first album self-titled, won a Grammy in 1989, for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album. Only Ruben Ramos and Rick Trevino were members on all three albums. Their music was mostly Spanish in vocals. I have to admit, there are a lot of Spanish bands and artists out there. I just wished I knew which ones they are. With this supergroup of talent, I am sure Los Super Seven is highly talented, and to research them, to see how great they were.

    He was rumored to have passed away in 2001, which was not true. In 2002, he underwent a kidney transplant, which was provided by his daughter. By 2004, he underwent a liver transplant. However, his condition continued to worsen, in which he developed tumors in his lungs. Freddy Fender passed away on October 14, 2006, of lung cancer, He was 69.

    Freddy Fender left behind music to enjoy for many generations to come. His perfect mexican singing truly makes him a great singer. And his work with the Texas Tornados is worth looking into. Read one of their reviews here. Thank you, Freddy. Your music will always be enjoyed by all.

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