Saturday, July 17, 2010

"El Beebop Kid" puts a smile on my face

There's some music so good that you don't mind when the light changes from yellow to red and you're stuck at an intersection.
I listened to some of that music yesterday, thanks to a wonderful album I purchased, "CANCIONES DE MI BARRIO."

Early in his musical career, before he became well-known for songs such as "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," FREDDY FENDER was an aspiring west Texas musician named BALDEMAR HUERTA.

Following an unhappy stint in the Marines, Huerta returned to Texas wanting to make music that broke away from the accordian-driven Tejano tunes that dominated Southwestern jukeboxes of the time -- the late 1950s.

Recording under stage names such as "El Bebop Kid" and "Eddie Con Los Shades," Huerta covered popular rock 'n' roll and R&B tunes of the day in Spanish.

"Ain't That a Shame" becomes "Ya Me Voy," "Since I Met You Baby" becomes "Desde Que Conosco" (featured in the soundtrack to the John Sayles film, "Lone Star") and "I Hear You Knocking" becomes "No Estes Sonando."

Huerta's songs filled jukeboxes throughout the Southwest, and Fender was soon a musical star.

These early tunes are so good -- music that brings a smile to my face so easily -- that when I heard "Diablo Con Antifaz (You're the Devil in Disguise)," it made me want to learn Spanish just so I could sing along.