Danny Flores

Last updated
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.

Related Research Articles

Instrumental rock is rock music that emphasizes musical instruments and features very little or no singing. Examples of instrumental rock can be found in practically every subgenre of rock, often from musicians who specialize in the style. Instrumental rock was most popular from the mid-1950s to mid-1960s, with artists such as Bill Doggett Combo, The Fireballs, The Shadows, The Ventures, Johnny and the Hurricanes and The Spotnicks. Surf music had many instrumental songs. Many instrumental hits came from the R&B world. Funk and disco produced several instrumental hit singles during the 1970s. The Allman Brothers Band feature several instrumentals. Jeff Beck also recorded two instrumental albums in the 1970s. Progressive rock and art rock performers of the 1960s and 1970s did many virtuosic instrumental performances.

Johnnie Johnson (musician) American musician

Johnnie Clyde Johnson was an American pianist who played jazz, blues and rock and roll. His work with Chuck Berry led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for breaking racial barriers in the military, as he was a Montford Point Marine - where the African-American unit endured racism and inspired social change while integrating the previously all-white Marine Corps during World War II.

Three Dog Night American band

Three Dog Night is an American rock band. They formed in 1967 with founding members consisting of vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells, and Chuck Negron. This lineup was soon augmented by Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Joe Schermie (bass), Michael Allsup (guitar), and Floyd Sneed (drums). The band registered 21 Billboard Top 40 hits between 1969 and 1975. Because Three Dog Night recorded many songs written by outside songwriters, they helped introduce mainstream audiences to writers such as Paul Williams and Hoyt Axton.

The Champs American rock and roll band

The Champs were an American rock and roll band, most famous for their Latin-tinged instrumental "Tequila". The group took their name from the name of Gene Autry's horse, Champion, and was formed by studio executives at Gene Autry's Challenge Records to record a B-side for the Dave Burgess single, "Train to Nowhere". The intended throwaway track became more famous than its A-side, as "Tequila" went to No. 1 in just three weeks and the band became the first group to go to the top spot with an instrumental that was their first release. The song was recorded at Gold Star Studios in fall 1957, and in 1959 won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

Edgar Winter American rock and blues musician.

Edgar Holland Winter is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer. He is known for being a multi-instrumentalist — keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist and percussionist — as well as a singer. His success peaked in the 1970s with his band, The Edgar Winter Group, and their popular songs "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride".

Mindi Abair American jazz saxophonist

Mindi Abair is an American saxophonist, vocalist, author, and National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization that puts on the Grammy Awards show.

Grover Washington Jr. American recording artist,  jazz-funk / soul-jazz saxophonist

Grover Washington Jr. was an American jazz-funk / soul-jazz saxophonist. Along with George Benson, John Klemmer, David Sanborn, Bob James, Chuck Mangione, Dave Grusin, Herb Alpert, and Spyro Gyra, he is considered by many to be one of the founders of the smooth jazz genre. He wrote some of his material and later became an arranger and producer.

Girlpope (1992–2004) were a rock band from Buffalo, New York. The power pop band included guitarist and vocalist Mark Norris, bassist and vocalist Richie Campagna, drummer Brandom Delmont, and guitarist and saxophonist Tommy Stanford.

Peak Records is an American record label that was founded by The Rippingtons leader and guitarist Russ Freeman and Andi Howard in 1994. Peak is distributed by eOne Music.

Challenge Records was founded in Los Angeles in 1957 by cowboy singer Gene Autry and former Columbia Records A&R representative Joe Johnson. Autry's involvement with the label was short lived as he sold his interest to the remaining partners in October 1958.

Phenix Horns band that plays jazz

The Phenix Horns [sic], originally known as the EWF Horns, were the main horn section for Earth, Wind & Fire, Phil Collins and Genesis. The four members were Don Myrick on saxophones, Louis "Lui Lui" Satterfield on trombone, Rahmlee Michael Davis on trumpet and Michael Harris on trumpet.

Seawind was an American jazz fusion band from Hawaii, consisted of its lead singer Pauline Wilson, guitarist Bud Nuañez, bassist Ken Wild, drummer Bob Wilson, keyboardist and saxophonist Larry Williams, saxophone and flute player Kim Hutchcroft, and trumpeter Jerry Hey. They recorded two albums for CTI Records, one for Horizon Records and one for A&M Records.

Edward R. "Eddie" Platt was an American saxophonist.

The Ghost Inside (band) American metalcore band

The Ghost Inside, formerly known as A Dying Dream, is an American metalcore band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2004. The band currently consists of vocalist Jonathan Vigil, guitarists Zach Johnson and Chris Davis, bassist Jim Riley and drummer Andrew Tkaczyk. They have released one EP and four studio albums, with their latest, Dear Youth, released in November 2014 through Epitaph Records and peaking at number 63 on the American Billboard 200 chart.

Michael Lington is a Danish-American contemporary saxophonist, songwriter, producer, recording artist and a purveyor of soul and contemporary jazz.

As Blood Runs Black American band

As Blood Runs Black is an American deathcore band from Los Angeles, California. They have released three albums. Their first album, Allegiance, was released on June 6, 2006. Their second album, Instinct, was released on March 15, 2011. Instinct reached number 1 on the Billboard Heatseakers Albums chart and number 111 on the Billboard 200 for the week of April 2, 2011. On June 30, 2013, As Blood Runs Black announced that they will be self-releasing their newest album, Ground Zero, with the help of crowdfunding via IndieGoGo; this was successful and the album was released on October 27, 2014.

Sergio Flores, better known by his stage name Sexy Sax Man, is a Mexican American saxophonist.

Daniel Dorsey "Danny" Overbea was an American rhythm and blues singer, guitarist and songwriter, best known for his songs "Train, Train, Train" and "Forty Cups of Coffee", which he wrote and recorded in the early 1950s.


  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.
AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.