Freddy Fender | Courtesy photo
SAN BENITO, TX — Late music legend Freddy Fender will be honored with a Texas State Historical Marker in his hometown of San Benito, Texas, next month in April.
The San Benito Historical Society and Museum announced the event to unveil the Texas State Marker in Fender’s honor. The event is being held Saturday, April 15, at 10:00 a.m. at 143 Freddy Fender Lane in San Benito, Texas.
Fender 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 for “Most Promising Male Artist” in 1975. His voice and charismatic personality also made him a nationwide television celebrity in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Fender passed away in 2006 from lung cancer at the age of 69. He received global recognition for his contributions to music along with many honors and Grammy nominations.
In 2005, a $1.4 million water tower was dedicated to the music legend in San Benito. The tower displays an image of Fender along with the words “San Benito Hometown of Freddy Fender.” A Freddy Fender Museum and The Conjunto Music Museum opened November 17, 2007, in San Benito. They share a building with the San Benito Historical Museum. His family maintains the Freddy Fender Scholarship Fund and donates to philanthropic causes that Fender supported.
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