There are just some songs that can outlive and so far, outlast time. Sure they’ve been redone, re-imagined and re-vamped, but the magical essence, the skeleton of the original piece, is still there. And that’s what we’re about to watch today.
Let’s rewind time a bit. We’re headed straight back to a 1958 episode of Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show, a musical variety show that highlighted emerging musical talent, plus some non-musical talent like celebrities and movie stars. It was the place to be seen and heard, and an excellent way to make your way up in your career.
The fuzzy footage is old. If the black and white film didn’t tip you off, you know you’re in for an oldie but a goldie. The video opens to a young Dick Clark holding a gold record, and he says, “This is a momentous occasion because this is a gold record, not too many get them and I’ll read you the inscription. ‘Presented to the Champs in appreciation for the 1 millionth copy of Tequila.’” The crowd goes wild and the camera pans to the band ready and raring to go onstage.
The Champs were an American rock ‘n roll band who got famous with their instrumental and Latin-inspired hit, “Tequila.” In 1959, the jazzy, latino-rock and the saxophone-led song won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. It’s a pretty dancey song and the fact that it only has one word (one pretty memorable word, at that!) lends to its “stickiness” – you’ll never forget the name of the song, it’ll always be stuck in your head and you can’t help but move to it!
The rhythm guitar starts up. Then Chuck Rio on saxophone and “vocals” (he literally only says the one word, “tequila” in a low-pitched voice) comes in to take over the melody. The boys absolutely ring out a doozy of a performance, entertaining the audience then, and still bringing enjoyment to a different kind of audience now. This song just doesn’t fade!
Click the video below to watch The Champs let it rip!