Baldemar Garza Huerta was born in San Benito, Texas on June 4th, 1937. He had a natural gift with music, singing on the radio before his eleventh birthday. At seventeen, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, and got into some trouble due to substance abuse before returning to private life and his musical career. In 1958, he legally changed his name to Fender, after the guitar and amplifier manufacturer. He felt Freddy complimented the name nicely, and it was official. Before The Next Teardrop Falls is not only Fender's first album, released in 1974, but also his biggest seller. Number one in the country charts, number twenty in the States, it includes his two biggest hits, including "Teardrop" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." He released a total of twenty albums prior to his death in 2006 from lung cancer. His dying wish was to be the first Mexican-American inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.