The baby name Tequila is a lot like the baby name Adidas. How? The baby name Tequila wasn’t popularized by the drink, just like the baby name Adidas wasn’t popularized by the shoe. Instead, they were both popularized by a song.
In Tequila’s case, the song was “Tequila” by The Champs.
“Tequila” was recorded rather offhandedly in December of 1957. It’s entirely instrumental except for the word tequila, spoken three times as “a silly attempt to cover up the holes in the song.” The speaker, saxophonist Danny Flores, was also the man who’d composed the song.
It was released as the B-side to “Train to Nowhere” in January of 1958, and it might have gone unnoticed had a Cleveland disk jockey not flipped the record over one day. Listeners loved it — so much so that “Tequila” became the #1 pop song in the nation by March.
The baby name Tequila, which had been very rare in the U.S., was suddenly given to at least 20 baby girls that year:
- 1960: unlisted
- 1959: 9 baby girls named Tequila
- 1958: 20 baby girls named Tequila [debut]
- 1957: unlisted
Nine more baby girls were named Tequilla, which also debuted on the list in 1958.
The next year, at the first-ever Grammy Awards, “Tequila” took home the trophy for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance.
How do you feel about the baby name Tequila?