Freddy Fender: We Salute You


This clip is a shout-out to Freddy Fender, who died yesterday of lung cancer. A Texas legend, Freddy packed a lot of road into sixty-nine years -- a Tex-Mex journeyman in the Fifties, stabbed in the neck after one show in Corpus Christi, grabbed by the cops after another show in Baton Rouge, busted for weed right there on the bandstand. Freddy did three years in America's most notorious prison, got out, went to work as a mechanic and almost accidentally became a country star at the age of thirty-seven, hitting Number One with his 1975 tear-in-beer ballad "Before the Next Teardrop Falls." In this clip, he belts our personal fave, "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," ordering his guitarist, "Tell it like it is, little brother, but don't make it cry too much." This guy was for real. Gracias por la musica, Freddy. See you down the road.

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Rob Sheffield

Rob Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he writes about music, TV and pop culture. He is the author of two books, Talking To Girls About Duran Duran and Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time.

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