The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 September 2006


Danny Flores, saxman for the Champs who wrote the humongous 1958 hit "Tequila," died in Orange County, California this week at 77.

Flores, credited as "Chuck Rio," also contributed the vocal — all one word of it. "Tequila" is arguably the most popular rock instrumental of all time, with sales over six million worldwide. Flores left the band shortly thereafter; the Champs went on to chart eight singles, including "Too Much Tequila" (by guitarist Dave Burgess) and a B-side called "Tequila Twist," on which Jim Seals (later of Seals and Crofts) did the sax work. (Dash Crofts was also a latter-day Champ.)

A family friend said that they would indeed play "Tequila" at Flores' funeral, which seems only right.

Update, 24 September: Terry reports: "'Tequila' has been banned from high school pep band repertoires here since 1998. That old zero-tolerance thing, doncha know." Sheesh.

Posted at 4:51 PM to Tongue and Groove