Before the Next Teardrop Falls (song)
|"Before the Next Teardrop Falls"|
|Single by Freddy Fender|
|from the album Before the Next Teardrop Falls|
|Label||ABC-Dot Records 17540|
|Writer(s)||Vivian Keith, Ben Peters|
|Producer(s)||Huey P. Meaux|
|Freddy Fender singles chronology|
The song was written in the late 1960s and had been recorded more than two dozen times. The song had achieved modest success in versions by various performers; the original version by Duane Dee reached #44 on the Billboard country chart in early 1968, and Linda Martell sent her version to #33 in early 1970. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a version of the song on his 1969 album, Another Place Another Time.
In 1974, record producer Huey P Meaux approached Fender about overdubbing vocals for an instrumental track. Fender agreed, performing the song bilingual style — singing the first verse in English, then repeating the verse in Spanish.
"The recording only took a few minutes," Fender once told an interviewer. "I was glad to get it over with and I thought that would be the last of it."
However, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" immediately took off in popularity when released to country radio in January 1975. The song ascended to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in March, spending two weeks atop the chart. Thereafter, the song caught on just as strongly at Top 40 radio stations and it wasn't long before Fender had a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit as well. Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song for 1975.
The song is about a man's undaunted determination to save his heart for the just-departed object of his deep (but unrequited) love, and sincere hope that should the woman's new relationship not work out, she will remember his love and return to him.
A showcase of Fender's tenor and Meaux's Tex-Mex musical styling, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" jump-started his career. (Fender's career had stalled in 1960 after his arrest on drug charges.) In the months and years that followed, Fender recorded several bilingual standards which became major hits, most notably "Secret Love".
BMI Songwriter Sterling Blythe claimed authorship and recalled having sold the rights to a portfolio of songs, among them "Before the Next Teardrop Falls", for $4,500 to settle debts when he left Nashville for the West Coast prior to Fender's recording.
"Before The Next Teardrop Falls" was certified gold for sales of 1 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America.  The song also won the Single of the Year award from the Country Music Association in 1975, and was instrumental in Fender also winning that year's Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year awards.
The song was used in the movie The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), starred and directed by Tommy Lee Jones.
1975 country-pop "half-dozen"
"Before the Next Teardrop Falls" was one of six songs released in 1975 that topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. The others were "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" by B.J. Thomas; "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell; "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and the two-sided hit "I'm Sorry"/"Calypso" by John Denver; and "Convoy" by C.W. McCall.
|Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks||18|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||6|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Singles||19|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|Australian Kent Music Report||1|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||2|
|Dutch Top 40||6|
"Linda on My Mind"
by Conway Twitty
|Billboard Hot Country Singles
March 15-March 22, 1975
"The Bargain Store"
by Dolly Parton
|RPM Country Tracks
March 29, 1975
"Everybody's Going to the Country"
by Hank Smith
by Earth, Wind & Fire
|Billboard Hot 100
number one single
May 31, 1975
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
by John Denver
- Jerry Lee Lewis, Another Place Another Time Retrieved April 8, 2012.
-  Janovitz, Bill, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," Allmusic
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1975
- Tucker, Stephen R., "Freddy Fender", The Encyclopedia of Country Music, Paul Kingsbury, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
-  Country Music Association Awards database
- Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs 1944-2005 - 6th Edition." 2006.
- Whitburn, Joel, "Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006," 2007.