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Tequila by The Champs

The Champs Tequila

Latin Rock

The piece “Tequila” by The Champs was written  by saxophonist Chuck Rio, the stage name of Danny Flores, known as the “Godfather of Latino rock.”  (Well, it’s mostly instrumental, except they say “Tequila” a few times — and there’s always a trivia question that involves the exact number of times.) It’s based on a Cuban mambo beat. In 1958, the “Tequila” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B Chart.

The song was the B-Side to a Dave Burgess (aka Dave Dupree) single “Train to Nowhere,” but was more successful. In addition to Flores on sax, vocals, and keyboards, there are Burgess and Buddy Bruce on guitar, Gene Alden on drums, and Huelyn Duvall on background vocals. The Champs formed as a group after recording “Tequila.” They had a fluid lineup over the years, as it were, and recorded, toured, and performed until 1965.

There have been many, many covers of “Tequila.” This includes versions by Eddie Platt, The Ventures (twice), The Piltdown Men, Bill Black’s Combo, Dizzy Gillespie, Wes Montgomery, Boots Randolph, Dr. Feelgood, Larry Carlton, A.L.T., Perez Prado Bad Manners, David Sanborn, Ska Cubano, Oreskaband, and many more.

“Tequila” has had its impact on pop culture, too. It has been featured in TV: Happy Days, Two and a Half Men, and commercials. It has also been featured in movies” Breakfast at Tiffany’s (during a party scene), Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (can’t forget his dance, and those shoes!), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Sandlot, and others.

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Tequila” by The Champs.

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