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Go Champ Go

The Champs

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Album Review

The Champs had a huge hit with "Tequila" in 1958 and its raw, loose barroom saxophone riff has kept it a radio, soundtrack, and drinking contest staple ever since. The tune itself was originally a B-side backing the single "Train to Nowhere," and both tracks were recorded by studio musicians for Gene Autry's then-brand new Challenge Records. "Tequila" was the breakout hit, though, and the Champs, at least as a touring group, were born. Go Champs Go is a facsimile CD of their first LP for Challenge from 1958, and it includes both sides of that initial single, as well as a couple of vocal tracks and several attempts to re-create the success of "Tequila" by incorporating loose Latin rhythms in an instrumental R&B setting. Ace has packaged this album together with 1959's Everybody's Rockin' With the Champs (also originally released on Challenge) as a single-disc two-fer, and from a bang for the buck perspective, it makes more sense to go that route, although collectors may prefer to pick up this facsimile version for the sake of completeness.

Biography

Formed: 1957 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s

An instrumental quintet formed in Los Angeles in 1957, the Champs comprised Challenge Records executive Dave Burgess (born Lancaster, CA) (guitar) and session players Buddy Bruce (guitar), Chuck Rio (born Daniel Flores, Rankin, TX) (saxophone), Cliff Hills (bass), and Gene Alden (born Cisco, TX) (drums). This lineup recorded Rio's "Tequila" as a B-side to Burgess' "Train to Nowhere." "Tequila" topped the charts in 1958. The Champs essentially were a one-hit wonder, though they recorded a few more...
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Go Champ Go, The Champs
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