Freddy Fender is at the center of an effort to get more Latin American representation in the Country Music Hall of Fame. The San Benito “Wasted Days, Wasted Nights” and “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” singer expressed his hopes of being the first Mexican-American to join the big honor, which he called “Hillbilly Heaven,” in 2004 , two years before his death.
Veronique Medrano, a Tejano artist from Brownsville, is leading the charge for fairer representation by the Country Music Association. Medrano started a Change.org petition on June 7, days after what would have been Fender’s 85th birthday. She said it had been in the works since 2017 when she was “shocked” to realize that Fender, who played for 60 years, was going unrecognized.