Why Freddy Fender? Why today?
Because any day is a good day to remember one of the brightest of the shining Tejano lights, a genre-crossing star who — along with artists like Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiménez, and Augie Meyers — introduced Tejano music to the world and combined it with everything from country to rockabilly.
And above all, there was his voice. His angelic voice.
For all his recordings in English, and recordings in Spanish and English, he never sounded more at home — more content — than singing the Spanish of his native South Texas.
Lost love is a major theme in Tejano, Conjunto, Norteño, and Canción Ranchera music. I can’t think of any other musical forms where tougher guys produce more tears.
And no “lost love” song I know tugs at the heartstrings — mine, at least — more than Freddy’s “Before the Last Teardrop Falls.” He recorded several versions, but my favorite was done completely in Spanish. The best I could find combines Spanish and English. The song was actually written as a country song by Vivian Keith and Ben Peters, but Freddy’s recording — the most famous — gave it the full-Tejano treatment.
Si te quiere de verdad
si te da felicidad
les deseo lo mas bueno a los dos
pero si te hace llorar
a mi me puedes hablar
yo estare contigo cuando triste estes
And here is Freddy, accompanied by the greatest living Conjunto accordionist — Flaco Jiménez — singing el más grande de todas las canciones de amor perdido — “Volver, Volver.”
It never fails.
If I am laying down, happy and serene, my mind often goes here and here and here and here and here .
Please see this gem of a film if you can. And check out la reina de las malandrinas, Jenni Rivera.
Some things never leave you. Some things always give pleasure.
Treasure them. Protect them. Return to them.
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Please do me a favor and look at a preview of POV’s extraordinary 21st season. If any of the films really grab you, more detailed information and trailers and broadcast times are available here.
The entire season schedule can also be downloaded or saved. You could hardly say that any of the 21 amazing seasons of Public Televsion’s most important showcase for docuimentary films were better than any other.
But 2008 is really breathtaking.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am watching Natalia Almada’s “Al Otro Lado” (POV’s 19th Season) for the 20th time so I can enjoy the incomparable footage of La Malandrina Jenni Rivera and Los Tigres del Norte!
Anybody know when Los Tigres are coming to New York? And do I have make a trip to my hometown LA to see Jenni? The last time I tried to buy tickets for Los Tigres, they were being scalped at $350 – $500.
L.A. is actually not such a bad idea. Perhaps I’ll post some Jenni Rivera music at some point so you can see why, when push came to shove and I was little under the weather this spring, Jenni and Los Tigres were there for me.
¿Quién sabe? ¿Soy quizá un Norteño judío?