Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Freddy Fender--Before the Next Teardrop Falls (1975)

     By 1975 Freddy Fender (originally Baldemar Huerta) was a Texas legend. Known to many in the late 50's as the "Mexican Elvis Presley" for his covers of "Don't Be Cruel" and other rockabilly songs, his early adulthood sounded like a country song. Busted for possession of marijuana, he spent two and a half years in a prison camp in Louisiana. On being released, he played beer joints and continued to record on local labels. There are many from that area that would quickly tell you that his best material were the 45's recorded BEFORE he hit it big. If you are fan of his, you would be well served to track down those discs, recorded on the regional labels, Falcon, Ideal, and Duncan.
     In 1974, he was approached by producer Huey Meaux to put vocals to an instrumental. The song was, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls", written by Vivian Keith and Ben Peters, and had already been a country hit by Linda Martell in 1969 and covered by many others. Fender recorded a verse in English and one in Spanish and thought nothing more about the gig. Meaux was impressed enough with the result that it was released first on the local Crazy Cajun label, then on nationwide distribution with ABC-Dot. It became Fender's hit and his first number 1 as well.


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