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The Champs


An instrumental quintet shaped in LA in 1957, the Champs comprised Problem Records professional Dave Burgess (delivered Lancaster, CA) (electric guitar) and program players Pal Bruce (electric guitar), Chuck Rio (delivered Daniel Flores, Rankin, TX) (saxophone), Cliff Hillsides (bass), and Gene Alden (delivered Cisco, TX) (drums). This lineup documented Rio’s “Tequila” being a B-side to Burgess’ “Teach to Nowhere.” “Tequila” topped the graphs in 1958. The Champs essentially had been a one-hit question, though they documented some more singles within the same Latin dance design and kept heading until the middle-’60s. The group’s lineup was liquid, and later people included Glen Campbell in addition to Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts, who shaped the effective ’70s duo Seals and Crofts.

Quick Facts

Full Name The Champs
Awards Golden Globe Award for Best New Star of the Year – Actor
Music Songs Tequila, Too Much Tequila, Dynamite, El Rancho Rock, Chariot Rock, Limbo Rock, Gone Train, Rockin' Mary, Train To Nowhere, Midnighter, 3/4 Mash, Beatnik, The Little Matador, The Shoddy Shoddy, Jumping Bean, Double Eagle Rock, Limbo Dance, Varsity Rock, That Did It, Tequila Twist, Experiment In Terror, We Are the Champs, Fraternity Waltz, What a Country, Coconut Grove, I've Just Seen Her, Sky High, Tijuana Two Step, What's Up Buttercup, The Man From Durango, Mr Cool, 20,000 Leagues
Albums Go Champs Go, Great Dance Hits, In The Wild West, The Great Champs, Follow Me, Go Champ Go!, The Greatest Hits Collection, Happy Sounds, All Time Instrumental Greats, The Champs, Dynamite, Tequila (1958 - 1962) [30 Success], Love Caught, Greatest Hits / Tequila, The Champs Collection, Tequila: The Very Best of the Champs, The Later Singles, Too Much Tequila / Twenty Thousand Leagues, 25 All-Time Greatest Recordings, The Early Singles, Much More Tequila (5 Volumes), Everybody's Rockin', The Champs' Limbo Rock, Tequila Walk, Favourite Dish, As Light As Straw, In That Golden Summer Time, Tequila - 40 Classic Tracks, Mega Hits For You, The Challenge Album Collection, Let's Crack a Bottle, Hit Wonder: The Champs, Vol. 2, Tequila, At High Altitude, The Great Composers, Latin Limbo, Days To Come, Hit It, Tequila - 4 Track EP, Imposingly, Hunting For Good, Express Yourself, Stars from Vinyl, Because of Love, Freedom Loving, The Twist, Gaudy Colours, The Champs At Their Best, No. 2: Chariot Rock (Mono Version), Tequila: Greatest Hits, Explore
Nominations Academy Award for Best Original Music Score, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture – Drama, Academy Award for Best Original Musical, Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Foreign Language Film, People's Choice Award for Favorite Young Motion Picture Performer

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1 Jim Seals and Dash Crofts stayed with the group until it disbanded in 1964. They formed the Dawnbreakers, and re-emerged in the late 1960s/early 1970s as a popular acoustic duo. The Champs had 7 more singles on the charts through 1962, none of which came close to matching the success of "Tequila".
2 Since the song was a big success, they decided to go on tour. A new line-up was formed that included Flores, Burgess, and Alden, along with new members Dale Norris (guitar) and Joe Burnas (bass). Flores and Alden left the band in late 1958, and were replaced by Jim Seals (sax), Dash Crofts (drums), and Dean Beard (piano). In 1960, Burgess was replaced by young up-and-coming guitarist Glen Campbell.
3 "Tequila" was planned as the B-side to "Train to Nowhere". Radio deejays preferred "Tequila", and the Champs' version battled for chart position with a cover version by Eddie Platt. Platt's record topped out at #20 on the US charts, while The Champs' record went all the way to #1.
4 The Champs were formed in Los Angeles in December 1957. The five original members were Dave Burgess (rhythm guitar), Danny Flores (sax, piano), Cliff Hills (bass), Buddy Bruce (lead guitar), and Gene Alden (drums). Later members included Dale Norris, Joe Burnas, Jim Seals, Dash Crofts, Glenn Campbell, Dean Beard. They were brought together to provide backup for the Kuf-Linx vocal group.
5 Band member Danny Flores (aka Chuck Río), who wrote and sang their 1958 hit song "Tequila", died in September 2006 at the age of 77, in Huntington Beach, California. His wife Sharee said "he never got tired of playing that song". He is also survived by 7 children and 15 grandchildren.
6 They signed a recording contract with Challenger Records, which was owned by cowboy actor Gene Autry. He named the group after his horse, Champion.



New Girl 2015 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Call the Midwife 2013 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy 2013 TV Movie documentary performer: "Tequila" - uncredited
Raising Hope 2012 TV Series performer - 1 episode
A Turtle's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape from Paradise 2012 performer: "Tequila"
Mafia II 2010 Video Game performer: "TEQUILA"
Gossip Girl 2010 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Danville 2nd Ward Young Men 2009 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Night at the Museum 2006 performer: "Tequila" 1996
Dancing with the Stars 2005 TV Series 1 episode
Gilmore Girls 2005 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Small Time Crooks 2000 performer: "Tequila"
The Castle 1997 performer: "Tequila" 1958
Box of Moon Light 1996 performer: "Too Much Tequila"
Baseball 1994 TV Mini-Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man 1994 TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Sandlot 1993 performer: "Tequila"
The Wonder Years 1993 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Beverly Hills, 90210 1991 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Quantum Leap 1990 TV Series performer - 2 episodes
Hairspray 1988 performer: "Train to Nowhere"
Overboard 1987 performer: "TEQUILA"
Miami Vice 1986 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Peggy Sue Got Married 1986 performer: "Tequila"
Pee-wee's Big Adventure 1985 performer: "TEQUILA"
Losin' It 1983 performer: "Tequila"
Cheech and Chong's Next Movie 1980 performer: "Tequila"
The Wanderers 1979 performer: "Tequila"
Going Steady 1979 performer: "Tequilla"
Les tricheurs 1958 "Tequila"



New American Bandstand 1965 1960 TV Series Themselves
Sunday Showcase 1959 TV Series Themselves-Recipients
The Dick Clark Show 1958 TV Series Themselves
The Ed Sullivan Show 1958 TV Series Themselves

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

My Music: 50s & 60s Rock Rewind 2014 TV Movie Themselves
Glen Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy 2013 TV Movie documentary Themselves

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