Freddie Fender (Baldemar Huerta) - vocals & guitar with René Moody - bass; Little Herman - drums; Louis Moody - guitar; and others.
In the late '50s and early '60s, Freddie Fender won legions of Tejano Music fans throughout Texas and the Southwest with his Spanish versions of rock, pop, and rhythm & blues. These recordings are from that early period in Freddie Fender's life: Mexican ranchera standards, American pop hits which he translated and sang in Spanish, and his own garage-rock style compositions originally recorded for the Ideal label of San Benito, Texas. This is Freddie Fender at his pure and youthful best. CD booklet includes a 1992 interview with the artist discussing the songs and the times.
1. Que Mala
2. Hay Un Algo En Tu Pensar
3. Holy One
4. Desde Que Conosco
5. Ya Me Voy
6. Diablo Con Antifaz
7. Que Soledad
8. La Banda Esta Borracha
10. Paloma Querida
11. Mi Destino Fue Quererte
12. Indita Mia
13. No Estes Sonando
14. Corina, Corina
15. Como Un Errante
16. Acapulco Rock
17. Las Cerezas
18. Camisa Negra
19. La Vieja
20. Viejos Amigos
21. Pancho Pechos
22. Mean Woman
23. No Esta Aqui
24. Magia De Amor
REVIEWS“Prior to Fender's chart success (in country music), he was a barrio Tex Mex garage rocker mired in the jukebox/radio favorites from the '50s that were popular through his native Southwest. These tunes lit a fire under Fender, inspiring him to recut many of the hits in Spanish. He and his first outfit were literally a garage band, rehearsing nightly, from a fellow members' garage space as the locals would gather to watch and listen to the rockin' remakes.
Songs such as Fats Domino's `Ain't That a Shame,' Big Joe Turner's `Corina, Corina,' as well as his own rockers (`Que Mala,' the Spanish version, and `Mean Woman,' the English version, both written to the melody of `Heartbreak Hotel') were Fender's tickets to regional success in the '50s and early '60s. These are all included among the 24 tracks making up Canciones de Mi Barrio. Each of the tunes in this collection were recorded for the tiny San Benito, Texas-based Ideal Record label. During the period of these recordings (1959-61 and 1963-64), Fender, whose real name is Baldemar Huerta, recorded under such aliases as Eddie Medina (and his group Eddie con Los Shades) and Scotty Wayne. While at this time in his life, Fender turned his nose up a bit towards the popular Tejano music of the region, he still won legions of fans with his rocking style. (This CD offers) a great taste of the type of music found on the jukeboxes of the southwest during this time period. Extremely regional fare. I must admit that before I put this one into the CD player I figured upon hearing some 70 minutes of straight Conjunto which can get a bit tedious at times. It was a surprise to the ears to hear such a satisfying mix of rockers, Conjuntos and swampish ballads. A great disc. Recommended!”
(Dan Ferguson — Narragansett Times)
“It might surprise you to know that Baldemar Huerta, the Mexican-American country singer calling himself Freddie Fenderbest known for his '76 hits `Wasted Days and Wasted Nights' and `Before the Next Teardrop Falls' was an all-out rock `n' roller in the '50s and '60s. He recorded under a variety of names (how about `Eddie Con Los Shades'?), for a variety of tiny regional labels in his home state of Texas. Arhoolie Records, a contemporary independent label that specializes in roots music, has dug up some of Fender's early treasures and collected 24 gems onto CD. Most of the songs are in SpanishFender was singing for Mexicans in Texas homesick for their music, so he combed the Mexican pop charts and often simply copied Spanish hits. He also recorded such rock and R&B hits of the day as `Since I Met You Baby,' `Ain't That a Shame' and `Corinna, Corinna'also in Spanish, trying to sell himself as a brown Elvis. The two singles recorded in English, `Holy One' and `Mean Woman,' would have fit right alongside Presley's early hits the latter's a rewrite of `Heartbreak Hotel,' and the former's a silky doo-wop song that places Fender's lover not just on a pedestal, but on an altar. Fender's liner notes are illuminating for their snapshot of an era in pop music that revolved around regional entrepreneurs, but his angelic singing makes this more than cultural archeology.”
(Asakawa — Co. Springs Gazette Telegraph)
“Years ago when Freddy Fender was first hitting big with `Before the Next Teardrop Falls' he gave an interview to one of the trade papers that responded to the question `What's a nice guy like you doing in a place like this (Nashville)?' His pragmatic reply was `I'll sing opera if it puts beans on the table!' `Canciones de Mi Barrio' proves that this was always Fender's philosophy. If you're not convinced from listening to the wide variety of music he covered in a short time (1959-1963), read the notes where he states it again. But, as any Fender freak will assure, that's all right, 'cause he can sing it all (and play a rocking electric guitar as needed.)
This CD is a break for Fender collectors. For years the only way to get these rhythm and blues gems has been highly expensive vinyl, imported either from England or Mexico.
Fender tells interviewers he grew up listening to conjunto, but as a very young marine he was exposed to R & B and it changed his life. So the R & B in this collection is heartfelt, be it in English or some of Fender's Spanish translations of hits like `Ain't That a Shame.' Other cuts are puro mexicano, traditional and pop, included in the collection because Fender wanted an accurate representation of what the scene was then, admitting in the insert notes that he would jump on whatever was selling.
If you never liked the wounded edge of Fender's Nashville era, and have missed the live performances of the Texas Tornados, where he is obviously the boss, give this collection a chance. Appreciate the force this man can use when he chooses.”
(Mary Armstrong — Sing Out!)
“This is not the Freddy Fender of the Texas Tornados, nor the top 40 Fender of “Wasted Days And Wasted Nights” and “Until The Next Teardrop Falls.” It is Fender in 1959-63 in his first recordings, a young kid in the barrio with a garage and recording whatever moved him, English or Spanish, sometimes both. As soon as you hear the voice on something like “Hay Un Algo En Tu Pensar” (There's Something On My Mind) or “Desde Que Conosco” (Since I Met You Baby) you realize, that for Fender, from the beginning, his sound has been that Spanglish-fusion of Mexican love songs and '50s rock `n roll. He said in an interview regarding the re-release of these early recordings, “There's no something `new' for me. As modern as I try to get it always comes out '50s.” Good news for us.”
(Kirk Robertson — Soundings)
“If my name was Baldemar Huerta and my friends called me `Baldy' I think that I too would be tempted to change it. Baldy did so many times, trying out Eddie Medina (of Eddie Con Los Shades), Little Bennie and Scotty Wayne (?) before taking over the marca of his favourite guitar and coming out as Freddy Fender.
Most people associate Freddy with country music after his massive hits in that arena in the 70s, however, prior to that and his two and a half year drug bust Freddy was making it any way he could and indulging his personal taste for R & B. “I'm from the 50seven part of the 40s,” Freddy reports in his hugely entertaining and informative sleeve note interview. “After about twenty five years of age my clock didn't run any more.
The tracks on this great set, culled from Freddy's 1959 -1964 tenure at Ideal Records, are mostly covers of known R & B hits sung in Spanish; titles such as “Ya Me Voy,” “Hay Un Algo En Tu Pensar,” “No Estes Sonando,” and “Corina Corina,” re-translating as “Ain't That A Shame,” “There Is Something On Your Mind,” “I Hear You Knocking,” and “Corina Corina” respectively. (Joke for Christ sake - don't write in!) On the other hand Freddy's own ballad “Holy One” and the “Heartbreak Hotel” inspired “Mean Woman” are sung in English (great greasy rock `n' roll guitar on this last track). Make no mistake about it; these are rocking readings of these numbers, Freddy being backed up by the guitars and drums of a rock `n' roll band rather than by a conjunto. Despite this, traditional Mexican music is never too far away; “Paloma Querida” has the beautiful tune I associate with the corrido “Joaquin Murrieta,” and others feature accordion or mariachi backing but the whole collection, which has been available for some time now, should provide a new angle of approach for both Tex Mex and R & B fans (C & W freaks should leave well alone!) Twenty three tracks (69.02) of great music - plus one clinker; “La Banda Esta Borracha” (“The Band Is Drunk”), which might just be funny for La Raza but falls on its face for linguistically challenged gringos such as I.”
(Keith Briggs — Blues N Rhythm)
CD upc: 096297036624