On the "retro rack" today is a singer/songwriter that was one of the few Hispanic stars in country music. His given name is Baldemar Huerta, but you know him better as Freddy Fender.

 

While trying to get his career started, he was convicted of marijuana possession and spent three years of a five year sentence in Angola State Prison in Louisiana. He was parole thanks to Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis

After his parole ended Fender had a hard time restarting is career until he ran into Huey P. Meaux who ran a record label in Houston. Meaux steered Fender in the direction of country music and Freddy's first single, produced by Meaux, was "Before the Next Teardrop Falls".

In the first weeks of 1975, the song hit the top of both the country and pop charts.

Fender's next single, "Wasted Days and Wasted NIghts, was his second number one single. It was a song he wrote and released earlier in 1960.

In 1990, Fender formed the TEx-Mex group "The Texas Tornados" with Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez and Augie Meyers.

Freddy Fender passed away in 2006 of lung cancer. He was 69.