Freddy Fender, the "Bebop Kid" of the Texas-Mexico border who later turned his twangy tenor right into the smash nation ballad "Before the following Teardrop Falls," passed away yesterday. He to be 69. Fender, that was d

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Freddy Fender, the "Bebop Kid" that the Texas-Mexico border who later on turned his twangy tenor into the smash nation ballad "Before the following Teardrop Falls," passed away yesterday. He to be 69. Fender, that was diagnosed with lung cancer in beforehand 2006, died at noon at his body Christi, Texas, residence with his family members at his bedside, stated Ron Rogers, a family spokesman.Over the years, the artist, whose real name to be Baldemar Huerta, grappled through drug and also alcohol abuse, to be treated because that diabetes and underwent a kidney transplant.Fender hit it large in 1975 after some local success, year of struggling -- and a stint in prison -- as soon as "Before the following Teardrop Falls" climbed come No. 1 on the pop and country charts. "Wasted Days and also Wasted Nights" climbed to No. 1 on the nation chart and top 10 on the pop chart that very same year, if "Secret Love" and "You"ll shed a great Thing" additionally hit No. 1 in the country charts.More recently, that played through Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez and others in two Tex-Mex all-star combos, the Texas Tornados and Los at sight Seven. He winner a Grammy of best Latin pop album in 2002 because that "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta." He also shared in 2 Grammys: through the Texas Tornados, which won in 1990 for ideal Mexican-American power for "Soy de mountain Luis," and also with Los Super 7 in the same classification in 1998 for "Los at sight Seven."Among his other achievements, Fender appeared in the 1987 motion picture "The Milagro Beanfield War," directed by Robert Redford.Fender to be born in 1937 in san Benito, the south Texas border town attributed for spawning the Mexican-polka sound of conjunto. The boy of migrant workers who did his very own share of choose crops, he also was exposed come the blues sung through blacks together the mexican in the fields.Always a performer, that sang top top the radio together a boy and also won contests for his to sing -- one prize had a bathtub full of about $10 worth of food.But his career really began in the late "50s, once he reverted from serving in the Marines and also recorded Spanish-language execution of Elvis Presley"s "Don"t be Cruel" and also Harry Belafonte"s "Jamaica Farewell." The recordings to be hits in Mexico and also South America.He signed with royal Records in 1959, renaming self "Fender" after the brand of his electric guitar, "Freddy" because it sounded great with Fender. Fender originally recorded "Wasted Days" in 1960. But his career was put on host shortly ~ that once he and his bass player finished up spending nearly three years in prison in Angola, La., because that marijuana possession.After prison come a couple of years in brand-new Orleans and a then an day-to-day life taking college classes, working as a mechanic and also playing one occasional local gig. He when said that sang in bars therefore dingy that performed through his eye shut "dreaming i was ~ above "The Ed Sullivan Show.""But his 2nd break came as soon as he was convinced to document "Before the following Teardrop Falls" on one independent brand in 1974 and also it was picked up by a significant label. V its success, he winner the Academy of country Music"s best new artist compensation in 1975. He re-released "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and it climbed come the peak of the charts as well.Fender"s later on years to be marred by health problems resulting in a kidney transplant indigenous his daughter, Marla Huerta Garcia, in January 2002 and a liver transplant in 2004. Fender was to have actually lung surgical procedure in beforehand 2006 till surgeons uncovered tumors."I feel really comfortable in mine life," Fender said the corpus Christi Caller-Times in August. "I"m one year away from 70 and I"ve had actually a good run. Ns really believe I"m OK.

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In my mind and also in my heart, ns feel OK. I cannot complain that i haven"t lived lengthy enough, however I"d prefer to live longer."