Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

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"Wasted Days and Wasted Nights"
Single by Freddy Fender
from the album Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Released June 1975
Format 7"
Recorded 1959 (original)
1975 (hit version)
Genre country, pop, swamp pop music
Length 2:52
Label ABC-Dot Records 17558
Writer(s) Wayne Duncan, Freddy Fender and Huey Meaux
Producer(s) Huey Meaux
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Freddy Fender singles chronology
"Before the Next Teardrop Falls"
"Wasted Days and Wasted Nights"
"Secret Love"

"Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" is an American country and pop song recorded by Freddy Fender. It is considered by many to belong to the swamp pop idiom of south Louisiana and southeast Texas that had such a major musical impact on Fender.[1]

Song history[edit]

Fender wrote and recorded "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights", a blues ballad, for Duncan Records in 1959, during the early stages of his career. He was in the process of perfecting his mesh of rockabilly and Tejano, and the song showcased his new style. But he was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, and in May 1960, he was convicted.[2] The popularity of the song, along with his own popularity, plummeted.

Then, in 1975, "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" became a major hit, and Fender's career was rejuvenated. With the help of record producer Huey P Meaux, Fender re-recorded "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." The basic track for this song was engineered by Mickey Moody at Ben Jack's Recording Studio in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Session players included Bruce Ewen on piano, Bill Hamm on guitar, David Hungate on bass, and Bob Ketchum on drums. This time, the song became a major pop and country hit, topping the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in August 1975 and reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked on what was then called Billboard's "Easy Listening" chart at number nine.

"Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" was certified gold for sales of 1 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America.[3]

The song was a major hit in New Zealand. In 1975 it spent a total of 12 weeks in the number one position in the New Zealand singles charts, making it the longest running number-one single at the time and the third-longest running number-one single of all time.

The song is heard in the background of a party scene depicting George W. Bush's drinking years in Oliver Stone's biographical film W. The song is also heard in the background of a scene from the alien abduction film Fire in the Sky, which was reportedly based on a true story .

The song is also heard in Hancock.

Leann Rimes covered the song on her 2011 covers album "Lady & Gentlemen." The late Jenni Rivera covered the song on her 2001 album "Déjate Amar."

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles 6
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 2
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 8
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Singles 9


  1. ^ Shane K. Bernard, Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996), pp. 64, 65, 102, 105.
  2. ^ [1] Ankeny, Jason, "Freddy Fender," Allmusic
  3. ^ http://www.riaa.com/gp/database/search_results.asp
  4. ^ "FREDDY FENDER - WASTED DAYS AND WASTED NIGHTS (SONG)". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 

See also[edit]

  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs 1944-2005 - 6th Edition." 2006.
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006," 2007.
Preceded by
"Paloma Blanca" by George Baker Selection
"Tears on My Pillow" by Johnny Nash
Recorded Music NZ
number-one single

September 19-November 11, 1975
December 5-19, 1975
Succeeded by
"Tears on My Pillow" by Johnny Nash
Preceded by
"Just Get Up and Close the Door" by Johnny Rodriguez
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

August 9–16, 1975
Succeeded by
"Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell