Writing The Hit
“Before The Next Teardrop Falls” by Freddy Fender started with songwriter Ben Peters. Back in 1960, Peters was working as a professional manager for a music publishing company in the Music City and had Vivian Keith as her secretary. In addition to his paperwork, Peters was also writing songs and one night Vivian suggested that he write something about the title “Before The Next Tear Falls.” He agreed to do it, then went home and started to write the song. He finished the song the next morning and adjusted the song’s title to “Before The Next Teardrop Falls.”
The Mexican Country Artist
Before the song got to Freddy Fender, “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” was already recorded by Duane Dee back in 1968. However, he was drafted for military service during the time when his record was in release. Unfortunately, the first version of the song only peaked on Billboard’s country chart at No. 44. Then there was Linda Martell, who recorded the song in 1970. Again the song didn’t get far in the charts, it only peaked in No. 33. Actually, there were 32 people who recorded the song before Freddy Fender came up with the best version of the song.
Truth be told, Fender didn’t actually want to record the song at all. When he was recording an album back in 1974, producer Huey Meaux approached him with the instrumental tracks of “Before The Next Teardrop Falls.” Freddy Fender just wanted to give the track with vocals, only taking a few minutes of his time. He against doing the song country, however, he was obliged by Huey. He got motivated and he thought,
“Well, as soon as I get through with this, I can get back to some real music.”
Freddy Fender’s version of “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” was released on January 11, 1975. It had the worst debut for a future No. 1 record. Moreover, it reached the No.1 spot on the country chart and Billboard’s Hot 100 after 11 weeks of its release.
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Ben Peters, Freddy Fender