Chuck Rio - saxophone, vocals (born Danny Flores, July 11, 1929, Santa Paula, California, died September 19, 2006, Huntington Beach, California)
Dave Burgess - guitar (born Lancaster, California)
Dale Norris - guitar, keyboards (born Springfield, Massachusetts)
Bobby Morris - bass (born Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Dean McDaniel - bass (born June 28, 1943, Arkansas City, Kansas, died November 1, 2006, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Gen Alden - drums (born Cisco, Texas)
Paul C Saenz - Guitar, born in Anthony, New Mexico Now living in Bakersfield, California.
Benjamin Van Norman - Bass, died November 1958 in a car accident.
Later band members included Glen Campbell, Jerry Cole and Seals and Crofts, Paul C Saenz. The last lineup of the Champs, in 1965, included Johnny Trombore, who co-wrote some songs with Jimmy Seals, Maurice Marshall, Dash Crofts, bassist Curtis Paul and Seal's replacement on saxophone, Keith MacKendrick.
The Champs were a rock and roll band, most famous for their Latin-tinged instrumental "Tequila." Formed by studio executives at Gene Autry's Challenge Records to record a B-Side for the Dave Burgess (aka Dave Dupree) single, the intended throwaway track became more famous than its A-Side, "Train to Nowhere". "Tequila" went to No. 1 in just three weeks and the band became the first group to go to the top spot with an instrumental that was their first release.The song was recorded at Gold Star Studios in 1958, and in 1959 won the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording.
There are many cover versions of the tune, for example by rappers A.L.T. and XL Singleton. The Champs also had success with instrumentals such as a cover of Chubby Checker's "Limbo Rock" and the famous "La Cucaracha". In 1985 it featured prominently in the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", that inspired a 1985 Hip-Hop hit for rapper Joeski Love based on Tequila's melody.
The Champs also recorded a sequel to Tequila entitled Too Much Tequila.
50s, 60s Hits
"Tequila" is a 1958 Latin-flavored rock and rollinstrumental recorded by The Champs. The word "Tequila" is spoken three times throughout the tune. "Tequila" became a #1 hit on both the pop and R&B charts at the time of its release and continues to be strongly referenced in pop culture to this day.