Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Tequila

by

The Champs



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Tequila is an alcoholic beverage named after a town in Mexico. It is a key ingredient in Margaritas and is often done as a shot by licking salt, taking the drink, then sucking a lemon wedge. Many bars turn this song into a production, often offering shots of tequila directly from the bottle.
This was originally released as the B-side of "Train to Nowhere." Disc jockeys flipped the single and played this instead.
Not performing on this record, but later members of the group were Glen Campbell, Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts of 70s fame). Rio wrote the song. (thanks, WC - Charlotte, NC, for above 2)
According to Leo Kulka, who was the second engineer, this song was an afterthought after the band recorded "Train to Nowhere" (the A-side of the record). Some of the musicians had already left the studio when it was brought up that nothing had been recorded for the B-side. The remaining musicians were rounded up and the song was written on the spot. The "Tequila" part of the song was simply a silly attempt to cover up the holes in the song. After all, it was just the B-side. (thanks, Keith - Reno, NV)
This was featured in the 1985 movie Pee Wee's Big Adventure. It was used in a scene where Pee Wee Herman wins over the crowd in a biker bar by doing a dance to the song. The movie was the first feature film directed by Tim Burton, and Danny Elfman wrote the score.
This won for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance at the first ever Grammy Awards in 1959. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The Champs
More The Champs songs
More songs with beverages in the title
More instrumental songs
More songs about alcohol
More songs used in movies
More songs that won Grammys

Comments (16):

On May 7th 1958, the Champs performed "Tequila" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
The group also performed their next charted record, "El Rancho Rock, on the same 'Bandstand' show; it entered Billboard's Top 100 chart two weeks later on May 20th, 1958 and eventually peaked at #30 while spent 10 weeks on the Top 100.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
On April 20th 1958, the Champs performed "Tequila," on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...."
Danny Flores, aka Chuck Rio, passed away on September 19th, 2006 at the age of 77 (he wrote "Tequila"; and he was the voice who says 'tequila' on the record)...
On the same 'Sullivan' show, Kathy Linden sang "Billy", it reached #7 on Billboard's Top 100 chart.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
On February 10th, 1960, the Champs performed "Too Much Tequila" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
Twenty-nine days earlier on January 12th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #89; and on February 29th it peaked at #30 (for 1 week) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
Two years earlier on February 18th, 1958 the Champ's "Tequila" entered the Top 100; eventually it peaked at #1 (for 5 weeks) and stayed on the chart for 19 weeks.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
'Train to Nowhere' is a snappy little tune as well. Not sure why it wasn't popular, as it topped quite a few other instrumentals of the era.
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
Our son's grammar school band, because the director didn't want to get in trouble, asked the kids to vote on what they would yell out instead of "tequila." They chose "Fruitopia," a high-sugar beverage popular with the kids at the time, the mid-1990s.
- Jeff, Centennial, CO
Don't be fooled by the listing for this band into thinking they were 1-hit wonders. They released many rockin instrumentals, my favorite of which was their rendition of "El Rancho Grande" which became "El Rancho Rock". It features excellent sax work and a stinging guitar solo!
- Michael, McFarland, WI
The Champs had two more songs that made the Top 100 with 'Tequila' in the title. In 1960 they recorded "Too Much Tequila" whick peaked at #30 and then in 1962 it was "Tequila Twist" but it only peaked at #99...
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
(from recipe book "Cooking Texas Style : A Heritage of Traditional Recipes" ): (Tequila Solo)"Tequila is Mexico's most popular drink and its popularity has crossed the Texas border. It is made from the juice of the agave plant and it packs quite a wallop. Tequila is used as a base for many delicious mixed drinks , but the drinking of a 'Solo' is steeped in tradition . To do it properly , you must follow the ritual with the salt and the lime . Afterward , chase it with a cold beer , if desired , to help put out some of the fire . 1 jigger tequila , wedge of lime , shaker of salt. Assemble ingredients . Moisten the 'V' between the thumb and index finger with tongue . Sprinkle salt on the moistened area. Take a bite of the lime pulp , lick the salt on the hand and down jigger of tequila in one gulp. Chase with another bite of lime , if desired. YIELD : 1 serving . "
- Mike, Franklin County, PA
People who listens to the song "Tequila" for the first time , doesn't seem to understand what the song is really about . Tequila is a popular Mexican alcoholic beverage in Mexico and Texas ; made from the Agave ( pronounced a - ga - veh ) plant that is fermented into a yellow clear water - like liquor . It is a very strong and powerful beverage , and can pack quite a wallop when swallowed straight - down from a shot glass . It can be drank as - is , mix with fruits for a Margarita or a Daquiri , or served with margarita salt and a slice of key lime for a Tequila Solo . Sometimes it's serves in a bottle with the Agave Worm ( notice that the worm in the bottle is not there to look pretty ; but to eat swallow with the Tequila ). There are many many different brands under different names ( like "Jos'e Cuevo" ), and all are strong according to their fermention .
- Mike, Franklin County, PA
This is from USA Today:

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Danny Flores, who played the saxophone and shouted the word "tequila!" in the 1950s hit song Tequila!, has died. He was 77.
In 1957, Flores was in a group that recorded some work with rockabilly singer Dave Burgess. One of the songs was based on a nameless riff Flores had written. He played the "dirty" saxophone part and repeatedly growled the single-word lyric: "Tequila!"
The next year it appeared as the B-side of a single, credited to the Champs. Flores used the name Chuck Rio because he was under contract to a different record label.
Tequila! went to No. 1 on the Billboard chart and won a Grammy in 1959 for best rhythm and blues performance. Flores continued to play it for the next 40 years.
"I can honestly tell you he never got tired of playing that song," said his wife, Sharee.
The song has been used in numerous commercials and TV shows. It became popular with a new generation after it was used in the 1985 movie Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
"After that, we got shows all over the U.S.," said Mrs. Flores, who sang in the shows. "All these younger people who hadn't heard it were suddenly in love with the song. Danny was just so proud of it."

Hope it helps.
- arsenio, San Antonio, TX
This song was also covered by The Ventures. which is the version I'm used to.
- Devon, Westerville, OH
Not enough lyricless songs get credit for what they are. This so happens to be one that does. I use to be a Tequila drinker in my younger days and I love the scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure where he does the dance of life.
- Dee, Indianapolis, IN
I played with Buddy Bruce yesterday at a winery in Vinita, OK. He told me that tequila was just a sound check (you know, one intstrument at a time) and the lead singer was too drunk off tequila to sing, so they just made him say "Tequila". Also he said the only reason that song took off is because the dj accidently played the B side instead of the A side, and everyone kept calling in requesting it.
- John, Okemah, OK
These lyrics begin with the sax solo sixteen bars into the song:
We pick up a little lemon/Wepick up a little lime.
We go over to my Brother's/And we have a real good time.
He crush up a little ice,now/He put salt around the rim.
He pours in an extra giger/The girls be 'a lovin him.
Drinkin' Tequila, Drinkin' Tequila, Drinkin' Tequila... Tell me what did I just say? TEQUILA!!
The party is really goin'/ The girls all get up to dance
I'm liking the little blond one/Man!, How'd she get in those pants??
(Sax solo)
Drinkin'Tequila (Etc...)
Now, don't think that I'm complaining/Cause I'm liking all I see.
If I am a lucky guy,now/She'll come over sit with me.
Then we'll go Drinkin'Tequila,now/ You know we'll go drinkin'Tequila,now/Here we go drinkin' Tequila,now /One more time drinkin'Tequila,now, Don't you stop drinkin' Tequila,now/ One more time,drinkin' Tequila,now/Here we go drinkin' Tequila, now. What did I say? TEQUILA!!!
It took a group of musicians that didn't make it out of the door in time one night to record this classic. 42 years later I wrote words. I hope thgat I did the best party song justice. Let me know. Rich Verdugo (707)301-8847
- Rich, Woodland, CA
I CAN REMEMBER A MAN CALLED 'FRANKIE ORTEGA' THAT I MET AS A YOUNG GIRL....HE TOLD ME HE PLAYED ON SONG 'TEQUILA', BUT YOUR FACTS SAY NOTHING ABOUT THIS MAN...AM I GOING CRAZY? I THINK IT WAS ON THE TRUMPET OR SAX?? I WAS WITH OTHER EXTREMELY FAMOUS PEOPLE WHEN I MET THIS MAN AND HE COULD NEVER HAVE LIED AROUND THEM AND SO MUCH TIME HAS GONE BY, I CAN'T REMEMEMBER THINGS I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD..PLEASE HELP ME? WHO WAS, IS THIS MAN AND HE WILL REMEMBER ME FOR SURE.......THANKS....LADYGARDENIA3@AOL.COM....
- MARILYN, SANTA ANA, CA
Bill Lynn has stated that the group was named "The Champs" after their manager's (Gene Autry) horse "Champion."
- Roger, Seattle, WA
You have to to post comments.
John Lee HookerJohn Lee Hooker
Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed Bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write The Blues.
Randy NewmanRandy Newman
Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.
Steve Forbert - "Romeo's Tune"Steve Forbert - "Romeo's Tune"
"Let me smell the moon in your perfume..." It took a rough mix and an extra verse, but Steve found his "calling card" song, which is always the encore.
Kim Thayil of SoundgardenKim Thayil of Soundgarden
Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.