HOUSTON – Author Tammy Lorraine Huerta Fender has written the true-life story of her father, the late superstar Baldemar Huerta, also known as Freddy Fender, The King of Tex-Mex.
Her book Wasted Days and Wasted Nights: A Meteoric Rise to Stardom (published by Xlibris) expresses in intimate detail his rise to success, heartbreaking fall and final redemption. The author brings to life the heartfelt memories of a man and family caught in the whirlwind of great fame, and conveys in a compassionate yet forthright manner the shattering addictions that accompanied this fame.
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights is a book of many dimensions, and covers Freddy’s early life of brutal poverty as a migrant worker, his years as a U.S. marine, the shocking arrest and imprisonment of his early 20s, his barrier-breaking singing career as he exploded into and crossed over different music genres, and the alcohol and drug addiction from which he suffered.
During his last 21 years of sobriety, Freddy sought spiritual redemption, practiced forgiveness and made amends in his daily life; he came to lead by example with the aid of his higher power Jesus Christ. Freddy Fender was known to millions of people across the world as “an ordinary man who had extraordinary God-given talents.”
Freddy was a Mexican-American singer who rose from the depths of poverty, breaking free from a life spent picking cotton and rising to a life spent picking guitar. In his youth, in 1956, he was the first to record and sing Spanish rock and roll; he was known as the “Mexican Elvis” and called “El Bebop Kid.”
In the mid 1970s, Fender would become famous literally overnight as a rock ‘n’ country megastar with his first two monster hits “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.” Instantaneously, his records crossed over the Billboard country charts into the rock and pop charts, each rising to No. 1. He was given a Country Music Association award for “Single of the Year” and an Academy of Country Music award as “Most Promising Artist of 1975.” His voice and charismatic personality also made him a nationwide television celebrity in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
The author has divided her father’s biography into two books. The first book explores his struggles as he achieves the great American dream. The sequel delves into the darkness of the addictions that ravaged his and his family’s lives, forcing Freddy to the realization that he needed a divine intervention. The story of Freddy’s ultimate healing and hard-won sobriety is a searing story of faith and redemption.
The author states that in writing a frank, realistic book that tells the true story of her father’s life, she is honoring her father’s last wish; Freddy wanted an authentic, uncompromising book to be written about his life. And readers will see that his daughter Tammy has done just that, conveying in honest prose the tale of a child migrant worker with a passion for music who picked cotton, a three-string guitar and achieved the great American Dream.
Read excerpts from the biography here.