By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
South Padre Parade
El Bebop Kid, San Benito’s very own Baldemar Huerta better known as Freddy Fender, has recently been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for his 1975 hit, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.”
Fender joins an elite group of recording artists who in 2012 will share the honor of being inducted in the HOF, including legends whose albums made the cut, such as the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., Paul Simon’s Graceland, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Déjá Vu.
Then there are those who, like Fender, were inducted for their hit singles that have stood the test of time: Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” Gene Autry’s “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” and the “I Have a Dream” track off of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 Freedom March On Washington.
Indeed, Fender is in good company.
“The Recording Academy is dedicated to celebrating a wide variety of great music and sound through the decades,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy via a press release submitted to the News. “We are especially honored to welcome this year’s selection of some of the most influential recordings of the last century. Marked by both cultural and historical significance, these works truly have influenced and inspired audiences for generations, and we are thrilled to induct them into our growing catalog of outstanding recordings.”
For Ron Rogers, a longtime friend of Fender’s who also serves as the president of the Freddy Fender Museum in San Benito, the induction was a validation.
“The recognition of Freddy’s song, ‘Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,’ just continues to validate what many people already know, that Freddy was an icon,” Rogers said. “He was one-of-a-kind and just happened to grow up in the barrios of San Benito, TX. I feel humbled to have known him… in the sense that I got to know ‘Balde’… not Freddy. I got to know the person behind that, and that’s pretty cool.”
Fender was no stranger to the Grammy scene as he was nominated for an award six times. He was successful in winning three, one in 1990 when he was with the Texas Tornados for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album, again in 1999 when he was with Los Super Seven for Best Mexican/American Performance, not to mention securing the Best Latin Pop award in 2002 for his solo effort “La Musica de Baldemar Huerta.”
For more information about the Grammy Hall Of Fame or the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, scheduled live on Feb. 12, 2012, at 8 p.m. on CBS, visit www.grammy.com.