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

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Freddy Fender, the "Bebop Kid" the the Texas-Mexico border who later on turned his twangy tenor right into the smash nation ballad "Before the next Teardrop Falls," passed away yesterday. He to be 69. Fender, who was diagnosed v lung cancer in early on 2006, died at noon at his corpus Christi, Texas, house with his household at his bedside, claimed Ron Rogers, a household spokesman.Over the years, the artist, whose genuine name to be Baldemar Huerta, grappled with drug and also alcohol abuse, to be treated because that diabetes and underwent a kidney transplant.Fender struggle it big in 1975 ~ some local success, years of struggling -- and also a stint in prison -- as soon as "Before the next Teardrop Falls" climbed come No. 1 ~ above the pop and also country charts. "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" climbed to No. 1 ~ above the country chart and top 10 ~ above the popular music chart that exact same year, while "Secret Love" and also "You"ll lose a good Thing" additionally hit No. 1 in the country charts.More recently, he played v Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez and others in two Tex-Mex all-star combos, the Texas Tornados and also Los super Seven. He winner a Grammy of finest Latin popular music album in 2002 because that "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta." He also shared in two Grammys: with the Texas Tornados, which won in 1990 for ideal Mexican-American power for "Soy de mountain Luis," and also with Los Super seven in the same group in 1998 for "Los supervisor Seven."Among his various other achievements, Fender showed up in the 1987 motion picture "The Milagro Beanfield War," directed by Robert Redford.Fender was born in 1937 in mountain Benito, the southern Texas border town credited for spawning the Mexican-polka sound that conjunto. The child of migrant workers who did his very own share of picking crops, he also was exposed come the blues sung by blacks alongside the mexicans in the fields.Always a performer, he sang top top the radio as a boy and won contests for his to sing -- one prize consisted of a bath tub full of around $10 precious of food.But his career really began in the late "50s, as soon as he reverted from serving in the Marines and also recorded Spanish-language version of Elvis Presley"s "Don"t be Cruel" and also Harry Belafonte"s "Jamaica Farewell." The recordings were hits in Mexico and also South America.He signed with imperial Records in 1959, renaming himself "Fender" after ~ the brand that his electric guitar, "Freddy" due to the fact that it sounded an excellent with Fender. Fender at first recorded "Wasted Days" in 1960. However his career was placed on hold shortly ~ that when he and his bass player ended up spending nearly three years in prison in Angola, La., for marijuana possession.After prison come a few years in brand-new Orleans and also a climate an everyday life taking college classes, working as a mechanic and also playing an occasional local gig. He once said the sang in bars for this reason dingy he performed through his eyes shut "dreaming i was top top "The Ed Sullivan Show.""But his second break came when he was persuaded to record "Before the next Teardrop Falls" on an independent brand in 1974 and it to be picked up by a significant label. Through its success, he winner the Academy of nation Music"s best new artist award in 1975. He re-released "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and it climbed to the top of the charts as well.Fender"s later years to be marred by health difficulties resulting in a kidney transplant from his daughter, Marla Huerta Garcia, in January 2002 and also a liver transplant in 2004. Fender was to have lung surgical procedure in early on 2006 until surgeons uncovered tumors."I feel an extremely comfortable in my life," Fender said the corpus Christi Caller-Times in August. "I"m one year far from 70 and also I"ve had a good run. Ns really think I"m OK.

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In my mind and also in mine heart, i feel OK. Ns cannot complain that i haven"t lived lengthy enough, but I"d choose to live longer."