“Go Champs Go” by The Champs - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1958Album Chart of the Decade: 1950s

TJR says

The first of four LP’s from The Champs (Challenge CHL-601). The title on the cover is “Go Champs Go”, whereas the title on the record label is “Go Champ Go”. Which is just as it should be as it fits with my impression that these haphazard hombres just loved to make it up as they went along. They were borne of a December 1957 session (where group leader Dave Burgess aka Dave Dupree) was looking to create a b-side for his intended “Train To Nowhere” solo single. A jam around from the Flores Trio (Danny Flores (aka Chuck Rio) on saxophone and keyboards, Gene Alden on drums, and lead guitarist Buddy Bruce) produced “Tequila”. Dave Burgess (rhythm guitar) and Cliff Hills (bass guitar) helped to complete. The tune caused much in-house excitement - it was decided that a band would be created to support the single release – “Train To Nowhere” b/w “Tequila”. Someone suggested Champions, after (the then) Challenge label co-owner Gene Autrey’s famous horse. The Champs was decided upon and the single was released in January 1958. Several weeks later the b-side, “Tequila”, had been embraced by the nation and was sitting at No.1 in the Billboard 100! Requests soon began coming in for personal appearances. Burgess, Flores and Alden were joined by Dale Norris (guitarist) and Joe Burnass (bass) who made up the working combo. The group hit the road with little rehearsal or preparation and it showed. Danny Flores, an old hand at live performing became upset with the lack of professionalism and left the group in June, 1958. Several other personnel changes followed. By the time of this debut LP in the fall of 1958 only Dave Burgess and Gene Alden were still bona-fide “original” Champs. Unorthodox background aside, the debut album is terrific – latino licks with raunchy yet mainstream palatable Rock n Roll instrumentals taking square root inspiration from the likes of Bill Justis 1957 megahit “Raunchy”. “Go Champs Go” was a perfect title…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [01:59] 6.3.png The Champs - Go Champs Go (Kay Thompson) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A2 [02:21] 7.6.png The Champs - El Rancho Rock (Ben Raleigh, Silvano Ramos) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A3 [02:59] 5.6.png The Champs - I’ll Be There (Dave Burgess) Rock n Roll Ballad
A4 [02:19] 6.4.png The Champs - Sky High (Dave Burgess) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A5 [02:27] 5.6.png The Champs - What’s Up Buttercup (Dave Burgess) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A6 [02:08] 6.4.png The Champs - Lollipop (Julius Dixson, Beverly Ross) Pop
B1 [02:14] 9.3.png The Champs - Tequila (Danny Flores) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B2 [02:17] 6.8.png The Champs - Train To Nowhere (Dave Burgess) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B3 [02:13] 5.9.png The Champs - Midnighter (Dave Burgess) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B4 [01:48] 6.0.png The Champs - Robot Walk (Dave Burgess) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B5 [02:23] 6.7.png The Champs - Just Walking In The Rain (Johnny Bragg, Robert Riley) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [02:17] 5.7.png The Champs - Night Beat (Kay Thompson) Blues / Rhythm n Blues

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