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Freddy Fender, born Baldemar Huerta in San Benito, Texas on June 4, 1937, is a Tejano, country, and rock and roll musician, known for his work as a solo artist and in the groups Los Super Seven and the Texas Tornados.
As a child, Baldemar and his parents travelled throughout the United States as migrant farm hands. At the age of 16, Baldemar quit school and started a three year hitch in the United States Marine Corps. He returned to Texas and played bars and honky-tonks throughout the south, mostly to Latino audiences. In 1957, he released two songs to moderate success in Mexico and South America, Spanish versions of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel", and Harry Belafonte's "Jamaica Farewell". In 1959, Baldemar changed his name to Freddy Fender. He took Fender from the headstock of his guitar, and Freddy because it sounded good to him. He then headed for California.
In 1959, Fender recorded "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." The song became popular in 1959, but he was beset by legal troubles after he and a band member were arrested for narcotics possession. After a two year prison term, Fender ended up in Ne...