1 LA_Manny 7 months ago Freddy Fender (born Baldemar Garza Huerta; June 4, 1937 in San Benito Texas – October 14, 2006) was a Mexican-American Tejano, country and rock and roll musician, known for his work as a solo artist and in the groups Los Super Seven and the Texas Tornados. He is best known for his 1975 hits "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and the subsequent remake of his own "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights".Freddy grew up as a Migrant picking cotton in Arkansas and Texas.He joined The Marines at age 16 , "I didn't have no sense," he says of that time in 1953 when he lied his way into the Corps. "But I was a gung-ho type. I wanted to be John Wayne and all that."The rough-tough Marines: It was an image he tried to live up to. Unfortunately, there were no Koreans or Chinese to fight — just other Marines."Before I came in, I didn't drink, didn't smoke. But, I mean at 16, that first beer really turned me on." He'd get a little drunk and jump on any Marine that happened to be nearby, and before he knew it, he was in trouble. "Once you get in trouble, they've got their eyes on you. They're down on you," he says.In the "almost three years" he spent with the Marine Corps, nearly a year was spent in the brig — 30 days the first time, three months the next, and the next time it was six months and a bad-conduct discharge.Twenty-six years later, a wiser Fender says, "I can see where the system then just didn't have the time to handle young guys like me."He can even find something good about leaving the Corps under less than honorable conditions."I found out that I couldn't get a good-paying job because of that discharge," he says. "And I didn't qualify for the GI Bill. So, you see? I had to keep singing. It was the only thing left open to me."