The Royaltones - Tacos The Royaltones - Flamingo Express

The Royaltones - Tacos
The Royaltones - Flamingo Express

And, now for a couple of instrumental rockers from Detroit. The Royaltones started when a handful of young guys, high school students, got together in the late 1950s. The group continued to exist up until the mid-sixties, but apart from saxman George Katsakis they had an ever-changing line up. Members included bassist Bob Babbit and guitarist Dennis Coffey, who did his stint shortly after today's offerings were released in 1960. They also backed Del Shannon for few years.

In the world of instrumental rock'n'roll, a popular genre around this time, it is hard to overstate the influence of The Champs' #1 hit, Tequila. The success of that recording inspired a slew of covers and sound-alikes. Tacos would fit neatly into the latter category. The appeal of that ode to the Mexican spirit endures. I play various versions of it at many of my DJ outings and always receive an enthusiastic response. I've even been considering putting together a radio show of nothing but Tequila covers and sound-alikes. The Champs themselves contributed greatly to this niche. I'm just not sure whether it would actually be listenable - an important consideration.

Flamingo Express, the a-side, is a more sophisticated piece that was apparently originally known as Wiggle Wiggle. You can delve further into the story of The Royaltones through this excellent webpage.

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