Lost Treasures: The Champs – “Sombrero”


The Champs are often considered a “one-hit wonder” band for their global smash instrumental “Tequila”  However,  in their home base of southern Calif. they had quite a few minor hits that charted only in that region.  From summer 1961, “Sombrero” on Challenge Records managed to chart only in Calif. & Ariz. but is a fine example of this band’s pioneering  of the Latin rock genre.  It has the blistering ‘dirty sax’ sound of Chuck Rio the band is noted for. Named for Gene Autry’s horse Champion, the group was first formed by executives of Gene’s Challenge Records label.  The group over the years had a number of personnel changes & at one time included Glen Campbell & also Jim Seals & Dash Croft among others.  Labor Day weekend is here, so fire up the barbeque, down some burgers & beer, & enjoy this instrumental “Lost Treasure”  Have a great weekend!

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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