Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 07/28/2019

Lighting in a bottle struck in 1958 when Dave Burgess recorded a single for Gene Autry’s Challenge Records. Okay, so maybe Train To Nowhere doesn’t sound familiar, but back in the fifties the pieces of plastic sold as records had to have songs on both sides. To fill the other side of the record a few studio musicians joined Dave and they jammed a little and created the instrumental Tequila. The group needed a name, and they named themselves after Gene Autry’s horse: the Champs. It took all of three weeks for disk jockeys to turn the record over to side two and help Tequila reach number one in the country.

A few more singles followed as either the Champs or Dave Burgess and the Champs, but there were no more hits at the level of Tequila.

There was a lot of turnover for members of the group, and by 1959 Seals and Crofts and Glen Campbell were all members. It simply isn’t clear if any of them actually took part in the recording of Too Much Tequila, which reached #30 in February 1960, but a video from that era seems to shows at least two of them performing the song.

Glen left the Champs and released his own minor hit in 1961 and he and Seals and Crofts performed together in 1963 as members of Glen Campbell and the GCs, but that group fell apart without ever releasing any recordings. The Champs had one more top forty single in 1962 and completely disbanded by 1965.

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