October 5

Why “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” by Freddy Fender Almost Didn’t Get Released Under His Name

Ten seconds into “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” and you’ll find yourself swaying and grooving to the song, that’s how much an amazing artist Freddy Fender is. 

This blues ballad song was considered by many as a “swamp pop” song – and was considered one of Freddy Fender‘s biggest hits.

But what’s interesting about this song is that while Fender wrote it in 1959, it wasn’t until 1975 that he was able to release it under his name.

What happened in that 16 years gap?

Trouble with the Texas law due to marijuana possession. He was arrested for the possession of marijuana and was convicted in 1960.

16 years of not being able to release the song; indeed, that’s some wasted days and wasted nights!

While he is stuck in the uncertainty of ever releasing the song, the Texas-based band “Sir Douglas Quintet” released this gem for the world to listen to. As you may know, this band is best known for their 1965 hit, “She’s About a Mover.” 

And then in 1975, something magical happened to Fender: his song “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” became a major hit, which translated into a major career revival for him. He re-recorded “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” which then went on to chart on the Billboard Hot Country Singles in that same year. Additionally, it also ranked #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and ranked #9 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart.

RELATED: The Best Freddy Fender Songs That Was Defined Largely By His Strong Latin Sensibility

Fun fact: Fender thanked his friend, Doug Sahm, which is a member of the Sir Douglas Quintet, at the beginning of his re-recorded song. 

It all culminated in him getting a Gold from the Recording Industry Association of America, due to the song’s one-million unit sales.

Since then, it went through a couple more re-recorded versions, and it garnered a couple of renditions by other artists as well, like Jenni Rivera and LeAnn Rimes.

And to think we almost missed out on all this greatness!

“Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” is a fantastic song, and it is fortunate that Freddy Fender ended up releasing the song himself, no matter how late.

Listen to the song below.


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Freddy Fender


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