You know we had to have a second part to our popular “7 Chicano Heroes of Rock and Roll” roundup. The following musicians are Mexican-Americans who made their mark, and influenced, rock and roll (look for similar posts in the future exploring Chicanos and Latinos in other genres including soul, R&B, doo-wop, rap, and more).
Photo: 98.1 Minnesota’s New Country
Born Baldemar Huerta, Grammy Award-winning musician Freddy Fender was the San Benito, Texas-born son of migrant workers. He gained fame singing songs across several genres (including rockabilly, Tejano, country, and pop) in both Spanish and English, including a Spanish cover of “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” “Vaya con Dios,” and “Before The Next Teardrop Falls.” “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” hit number one on both the pop and country Billboard charts, marking the first time in history an artist’s first single reached the top spot on both charts. It is also the first bilingual song to make it onto the country charts.