Sunday, October 15, 2006

Freddy Fender, 1937-2006

Farewell, Freddy.

My dad worked a traveling salesman when I was a kid. He would sometimes take me along on his extended sales trips across the country. We were somewhere in southern California during the summer of ‘75 when my pop whipped his sedan across the highway median and pulled into a car dealership that was swarming with a couple thousand people. A used car dealer had hired Freddy Fender to do a show at his lot.

We couldn’t believe our good fortune in catching the man behind the recent hits "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." Fender, along with Waylon, Willie and Merle, were about the only current artists we both liked. He refused to listen to my Earth, Wind & Fire and War, and I grew so weary of his John Denver, Bocephus and Linda Ronstadt tapes.

Freddy Fender died Saturday. He was 69. Fender was the third artist I featured when I began There Stands the Glass eleven months ago. Since I have never examined the same artist twice in the 242 posts since then, I’ve selected a gorgeous Fender song from this 1996 release under the Texas Tornados banner to pay tribute to the great man.

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