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  • "Tequila!" Singer- Saxophonist Dead at 77

    Mon, 25 Sep 2006 11:11:41

    "Tequila!" Singer- Saxophonist Dead at 77 - Danny Flores -- a.k.a. "Chuck Rio" -- gave voice to one of pop music's favorite party tunes.

    Latin musician Danny Flores, who wrote and gave voice to the hit song "Tequila!" as part of the instrumental rock combo The Champs, passed away in Huntington Beach, California last week at the age of 77. His death was attributed to complications caused by pneumonia.

    Flores also recorded and performed under the name Chuck Rio. While recording with rockabilly singer Dave Burgess in 1957, Flores wrote a catchy riff on his saxophone and then found the perfect repetitive lyric to accompany it: "Tequila!" The song has been delighting crowds at bars, wedding receptions and sporting events ever since. Originally recorded by Flores as part of The Champs, the song went to #1 on the Billboard charts and won a Best R&B Grammy in 1959.

    How frustrating was it to be forever linked to an almost 50-year-old song -- a song that was originally dashed off as a mere B-side? Not frustrating at all, according to his wife, Sharee. "I can honestly tell you he never got tired of playing that song," she said. "Danny was just so proud of it."

    Flores said that he mistakenly signed away the U.S. royalty rights to "Tequila!" in the '60s. Since then, it has been used in countless commercials and movies, including Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

    In addition to his wife, who sometimes performed alongside him, Flores is survived by seven children and 15 grandchildren.

    --The ARTISTdirect Staff

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    Tags: Chuck Rio, The Champs, Pee Wee Herman

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