Sunday Morning Country Classic Spotlight to Feature Freddy Fender
Join me Sunday morning, September 22nd, for the Country Classic Spotlight at 11 a.m. featuring Freddy Fender. We get started with the Country Classic Show at 9 a.m.
Freddy Fender was born on June 4, 1937 in San Benito, Texas. The former migrant worker and marine achieved early success with the regional hit, Holy One, and followed it with a song he wrote Wasted Days and Wasted Nights in 1960.
Just as Freddy’s career was gaining momentum, he was convicted of marijuana possession and sentenced to five years at the Louisiana State penitentiary in Angola. He gained early release in 1963 thanks to Governor Jimmie Davis, a fellow country music star.
He made friends with Huey Meaux, a Cajun record promoter. He persuaded Freddy to record a ballad titled Before the Next Teardrop Falls, which became a surprise hit of the 1970’s.
Freddy enjoyed several hits including Secret Love and Since I Met You Baby. His career declined rapidly due in part to marital, drug, and alcohol problems.
In 1953, he quit school at age 16. When he turned 17 he enlisted for three years in the United States Marine Corp. He served time in the brig several times for drinking and was eventually court marshaled in 1956.
According to Freddy, he received a letter from the United States Department of the Navy saying that he had been wrongfully discharged because of alcoholism and was given a general discharge.
He underwent a kidney transplant in 2002, donated by his daughter and a liver transplant in 2004. His condition worsened. He was suffering from an incurable cancer. Fender died in 2006 at age 69 of lung cancer.