Danny Flores

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Danny Flores
Birth nameDaniel Flores
Also known asChuck Rio
Born(1929-07-11)July 11, 1929
Santa Paula, California, United States
Origin Huntington Beach, California
DiedSeptember 19, 2006(2006-09-19) (aged 77)
Huntington Beach, California, United States
Genres Rock and roll
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Saxophone, Piano
Years active1957-2006
Labels Challenge Records, Jackpot
Associated acts The Champs

Danny Flores (born Daniel Flores; July 11, 1929 – September 19, 2006), also known by his stage name Chuck Rio, was an American rock and roll saxophonist. He is best remembered for his self-penned song "Tequila", which he recorded with The Champs, and which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

Saxophone type of musical instrument of the woodwind family

The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. Although most saxophones are made from brass, they are categorized as woodwind instruments, because sound is produced by an oscillating reed, traditionally made out of woody cane, rather than lips vibrating in a mouthpiece cup as with the brass instrument family. As with the other woodwinds, the pitch of the note being played is controlled by covering holes in the body tube to control the resonant frequency of the air column by changing the effective length of the tube.

"Tequila" is a 1958 Mexican-flavored rock and roll instrumental written by Daniel Flores and recorded by the Champs. "Tequila" became a #1 hit on both the pop and R&B charts at the time of its release and continues to be strongly referenced in pop culture to this day.

Flores was born in Santa Paula, California and grew up in Long Beach. He was interested in the guitar from an early age, first performing at church and family gatherings. At 14, however, Flores switched to the saxophone, forming his first band, the 3-D Ranch Boys. Emulating the rasping sounds of tenor saxophonist Vido Musso, Flores played a variety of music genres -- jazz, country, pop, and blues—to cater to his hard-going blue-collar clientele. [1] Much to Flores's amusement, he has remarked, during this early stage of his career, he was commonly called the "Mexican Hillbilly". In the early 1950s, Flores recorded vocals for small Pasadena-based record labels, before signing to Modern Records/RPM Records, and releasing his earliest rock and roll material. [2]

Santa Paula, California City in California in the United States

Santa Paula is a city in Ventura County, California, United States. Situated amid the orchards of the fertile Santa Clara River Valley, the city advertises itself to tourists as the "Citrus Capital of the World". Santa Paula was one of the early centers of California's petroleum industry. The Union Oil Company Building, the founding headquarters of the Union Oil Company of California in 1890, now houses the California Oil Museum. The population was 29,321 at the 2010 census, up from 28,598 at the 2000 census.

Guitar fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.

Vido Musso Italian musician

Vido William Musso was an American jazz saxophonist.

In 1957, Flores met aspiring songwriter and guitarist Dave Burgess. After briefly performing as Danny and Dave, the duo recruited former members of Flores's group, drummer Gene Alden and guitarist Buddy Bruce, along with bassist Cliff Hills and Vocalist Huelyn Duvall, who were session musicians, to form the Champs. [2] On December 23, 1957, the group recorded three songs for Challenge Records, including Flores's instrumental Tequila . The song is highlighted by Flores's "dirty sax" arrangements and hollering of "Tequila". However, because of this one spoken phrase by Flores, he was credited as Chuck Rio to avoid conflicts with his other record label, where he was signed as a vocalist. [2] [3] "Tequila" was released as the B-side to the Champs' debut single, but after listeners requested the song over its A-side "Train to Nowhere", "Tequila" propelled to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1958. [4]

A songwriter is a professional that writes lyrics or composes musical compositions for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated with writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter that writes the lyrics/words are referred to as lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that songwriting is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be written by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.

Dave Burgess was an American guitar player, singer, songwriter, and band leader of The Champs.

Drummer percussionist who creates and accompanies music using drums

A drummer is a percussionist who creates music using drums.

Conflicts between Flores and Burgess over leadership and the band's musical direction led to Flores's departure. He signed his rights away to Tequila, and ultimately did not receive any royalties from the tune, despite its success. In the intervening years, he formed another group called the Original Champs and recorded for Saturn Records in 1963. Flores continued to perform across California for the rest of his life. It was not until the early 2000s that he finally received royalties — albeit only for sales in Europe — for Tequila. [5]

Flores died on September 19, 2006 as a consequence of complications of pneumonia. [6]

Pneumonia Infection of the lungs

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli. Typically symptoms include some combination of productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Severity is variable.

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References

  1. "Danny Flores Remembered". spectropop.com. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "Chuck Rio, Composer of "Tequila"". The Independent. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  3. "Musician Who Shouted Tequila". LAtimes. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  4. "Danny Flores, "Tequila" Saxophonist Dies". New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  5. Larsen, Peter. ""Tequila" was one hit in a remarkable life". ocregister.com. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  6. ""Tequila!" Remembering Sax Man Danny Flores". billboard.com. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
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