Song: “Tequila” by the Champs
Reached #1: March 17, 1958 (their first, 5 weeks, Top 100 & Best Sellers charts)
Sorry for getting the answer ahead of the question, but… my Big Oldies 107.3 colleague, Tony Booth, likes to tease people with a question that includes “Tequila” as the unexpected answer.
He’ll ask you to name the three Spanish-language songs to hit the US Top 40.
Most people, I suspect, would come up with Santana’s “Oye Como Va”. Older folks, and those who remember the Lou Diamond Phillips movie, would name Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba”. And then most people get a puzzled look on their faces… Tony gives them a moment and says “Tequila”. Of course, he’s right. There is one word in the song, repeated three times, and “tequila” is certainly a Spanish word… so, technically, this is a Spanish-language hit. Feel free to laugh while you’re cashing in that bar bet.
Long before they became famous for “Summer Breeze”, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were members of the Champs for a while – they weren’t part of the original studio recording, but did join the group on tour later in 1958. They stayed until 1963, when they and fellow Champ Glen Campbell (I kid you not) left to form their own group.
Tomorrow, an artist Lynyrd Skynyrd famously name-checked in “Sweet Home Alabama”.
Other songs that went to #1 on March 17:
1956 – “The Poor People of Paris” by Les Baxter & his Orchestra (their second, 7 weeks, Disk Jockeys chart)