Formed in December 1957 in Los Angeles, the Champs were originally a 5-member band comprising of Dave Burgess (Rhythm Guitar), Danny Flores (Saxaphone, Piano), Cliff Hills (Bass), Buddy Bruce (Lead Guitar), and Gene Alden (Drums). The band was created by Joe Johnson, co-owner of Challenge Records, for the purpose of providing backing for a session of the the Kuf-Linx vocal group. However, the session ended early and in the extra time, the then un-named Champs recorded 3 instrumental pieces that were written by Burgess. Then, Flores taught the rest of the band the now famous song, "Tequila" from a riff he had learned while working in Los Angeles night clubs.
After the session, the band left, never even bothering to listen to the final playback of "Tequila," considering it a "throwaway." Issued in January 1958 under the name Champs, after Challenge Records founder Gene Autry's horse, Champion. "Tequila" was planned as the b-side to "Train To Nowhere," but radio stations liked "Tequila" more and it rose to #1 on the charts.
With the unexpected success of "Tequila," the Champs now regathered for a necessary tour. Gone were Hills and Bruce (They were replaced by Dale Norris Joe Burnas). In late 1958, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts replaced Flores and Alden (They would leave eventually to form their own acoustic duo, Seals and Crofts). Probably not helped by the massive change in the line-up, the Champs only reached #7 on the charts after their miracle hit "Tequila," and subsequently Burgess left in 1960 and was replaced by Glen Campbell. The Champs disbanded in 1964.